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Groundwater Vinyl Chloride Detection

Background
In June 2021, the Village was notified that groundwater samples taken from a groundwater monitoring well in close proximity to the Village’s municipal drinking water supply wells in Central Park had exceeded the State of Michigan drinking water criteria for vinyl chloride. While regular testing completed at the monitoring well has indicated the presence of vinyl chloride, ongoing sampling at the Village municipal drinking water wells have consistently returned a result of “non-detect” for vinyl chloride and the drinking water remains safe to drink.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) issued an Administrative Order requiring the responsible party, ZF Active Safety US Inc. (ZF), to install a treatment system to address contamination threatening the Village of Milford's drinking water. 

EGLE has also created a standalone webpage with additional information regarding the Administrative Order and other information from EGLE. This page includes data and correspondence between EGLE and ZF.

A virtual public meeting took place at 6:30 p.m. April 27, 2022, to provide further information and answers to any questions regarding the Administrative Order. A copy of the presentation slides are available at the bottom of this page. A recording of the meeting is also available to be viewed online.


On-Site Activities
Contractors working on behalf of ZF Active Safety will be present in Central Park on the following dates and times to complete activities related to groundwater monitoring. 

May 16th - 20th from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
May 23rd - 26th from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Because of the equipment being used, space needed for safety, and the proximity of the work to the playscape, this will result in the lower parking lot and playscape in Central Park being closed to the public during these times.


Drinking Water Monitoring

Upon receiving the notification of the initial detection of vinyl chloride in June 2021, the Village immediately began testing for vinyl chloride within the Village drinking water system at an increased monthly frequency. These monthly tests are being completed in addition to required quarterly monitoring tests routinely collected. Groundwater samples are collected from each of the 2 drinking water production wells (Production Wells #2 and #4) and from drinking water once it is in the distribution system (via a faucet within the Village Water Plant). The Village continues to test these three locations monthly, and no vinyl chloride has been detected in the Village drinking water and the water remains safe to drink. The chart below outlines the dates of these test and the results.


VILLAGE OF MILFORD DRINKING WATER – VINYL CHLORIDE SAMPLING RESULTS
 
Date of Sample Production Well #2 Production Well #4 Water Plant Tap
March 2, 2021 Non-Detect Non-Detect Non-Detect
June 1, 2021 Non-Detect Non-Detect Non-Detect
June 8, 2021 Non-Detect Non-Detect Non-Detect
July 6, 2021 Non-Detect Non-Detect Non-Detect
August 3, 2021 Non-Detect Non-Detect Non-Detect
September 7, 2021 Non-Detect Non-Detect Non-Detect
October 7, 2021 Non-Detect Non-Detect Non-Detect
November 8, 2021 Non-Detect Non-Detect Non-Detect
December 7, 2021 Non-Detect Non-Detect Non-Detect
January 4, 2022 Non-Detect Non-Detect Non-Detect
February 4, 2022 Non-Detect Non-Detect Non-Detect
March 10, 2022 Non-Detect Non-Detect Non-Detect
April 4, 2022 Non-Detect Non-Detect Non-Detect
May 3, 2022 Non-Detect Non-Detect Non-Detect
June 8, 2022 Non-Detect Non-Detect Non-Detect


In conjunction with the regular monitoring of the Village’s drinking water supply, upon notification of the vinyl chloride detection in the monitoring well, the Village also began to work proactively with its Well Protection Program consultants and other contractors to explore potential treatment options. The goal in this instance was to have a treatment plan in place in the event vinyl chloride was ever detected in the Village’s municipal wells or drinking water distribution system and ensure the Village water supply remains safe in the future.

In August 2021, the Village hired its Wellhead Protection Consultants at Wood E&IS to complete a focused feasibility study regarding potential treatment options for removing vinyl chloride from the drinking water in the event it was detected. The completed study, received in January 2022, indicated that the preferred treatment method would be the installation of a packed tower air stripper to the Village’s drinking water treatment system to remove vinyl chloride (if detected) from the water.

Following additional discussions and review of potential design considerations, in April 2022, the Village approved a contract with Wood E&IS to begin design work on the addition of a packed tower air stripper to the Village drinking water treatment system. The Village intends to move forward with this project as quickly as possible while complying with permit and review requirements, and expected completion of the packed tower air stripper is anticipated by Spring 2023.

Throughout this process, the Village has had continued conversations with various state agencies in order to ensure that the drinking water supply remains protected and that contingency plans, such as the packed tower air stripper, are in place in the event vinyl chloride is detected in the drinking water supply. Additional discussions with the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) have been held regarding potential short-term measures which can be taken in the event vinyl chloride is detected prior to the completion of the packed tower air stripper. A review of the existing water treatment process indicates that a low-level presence of vinyl chloride in the untreated drinking water would be significantly reduced by the existing water treatment process.

Additional Water Source
In addition to the responses outlined above, in 2018 the Village started working with EGLE on permitting to bring the Family Drive Well Site online. The Family Drive Well Site was originally identified in 2000 following an extensive study of potential water sources in the Village. The wells themselves were installed in 2003 & 2004. As of April 2022, the Village has submitted additional technical evaluations and updated water quality analyses to EGLE for review and approval and the final design process for the Family Drive Well Site and the water transmission piping to the water treatment plant is underway. The Village was able to successfully work with the office of Congresswoman Haley Stevens to obtain $2 million in federal funding for this critical infrastructure project.

Water System Overview Map
Where to Get More Information
To receive updates about the vinyl chloride detection in a groundwater monitoring well and mitigation measures for the Village’s municipal drinking water supply, please sign up for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s email alert system.

Additional information will be posted below as it becomes available.

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Additional Information 3 documents
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Presentation slides from the April 27, 2022 Drinking Water Information Session conducted by EGLE.
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Recording of the 4/27/2022 Drinking Water Information Session conducted by EGLE.
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Administrative Order issued to ZF Active Safety US Inc.
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