Preliminary findings: chemicals found in Otsego-area wells

Posted at 10:15 PM, Sep 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-01 22:29:35-04

ALLEGAN, Mich. —  A number of residential water wells in Allegan County –  and a couple in Kalamazoo County – have tested positive for some levels of dioxin chemical contamination.

The Allegan County Health Department says the preliminary test results were taken from 16 residential wells in the Otsego area, 14 of which are in Allegan County, and two that are in Kalamazoo County.

The Michigan Departmentof Health & Human Services (MDHHS) and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) apprised the Allegan and Kalamazoo county health departments of the findings.

According to the report, two dioxins were found in the wells: 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran. Allegan County Health Department says further testing will be conducted for other “dioxin-like” chemicals.

Residents have expressed concern this year about the health risks associated with chemicals from local paper-mill waste that was applied to fields and roads. A grassroots group held a public meeting in July to discuss the potential threat to drinking water in Otsego.

In an effort to provide coordinated communication, the Allegan County Health Department says it will  be updating a FAQ (frequently asked questions) document by 3:00 pm, on a daily basis.  To submit a question, either call the Otsego Area Hotline phone number 269-686-4546 between 8am-8pm, or email

Residents with questions also can call the Allegan County Health Department’s Hotline – 269-686-4546 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Or, contact the MDHHS Toxicologist at 1-800-648-6942 8 a.m. – 5p.m Monday through Friday for further information about dioxins.