Additional Monitoring Results Demonstrate Continued Effectiveness of Whole House Filters

In our ongoing commitment to provide residents confidence in their drinking water and share information with the community, we are providing the most recent monitoring results for whole house filters installed by Wolverine.

Wolverine summarized the first set of monitoring results in late January, which included results from over 280 homes.  That first group of results demonstrated that the whole house filters effectively reduce PFOA/PFOS to levels far below the EPA’s lifetime health advisory level of 70 ppt.

Wolverine is pleased to report that the latest results are consistent with the earlier results, and continue to demonstrate the effectiveness of the whole house filters.  Wolverine has now collected over 600 monitoring samples from over 500 homes over a period of more than five months.  Some of the highlights of the most recent test results:

  • Samples from homes with the highest concentrations of PFOA/PFOS (over 7,500 ppt) are taken weekly, and the results of the effluent (filtered) water continue to be less than 3 ppt for PFOA/PFOS.
  • Samples from homes with PFOA/PFOS concentrations of 1,000-7,499 ppt are taken monthly, and the results of the effluent (filtered) water continue to be less than 5 ppt for PFOA/PFOS.
  • Samples from homes with PFOA/PFOS concentrations of 71-1,000 ppt are taken quarterly, and the results continue to range from non-detect to less than 8 ppt for PFOA/PFOS.  These results were taken between the two carbon canisters, and the water continues through the second carbon canister of the system for further reduction.
  • Homes with PFOA/PFOS concentrations at or lower than 70 ppt continue to be monitored, and for these homes the water between the two carbon canisters has remained well below 70 ppt for PFOA/PFOS.

To date, Wolverine has paid for the installation, testing, and maintenance of more than 500 whole house filters and 150 point-of-use filters, and additional installations are taking place every week.  Wolverine has also paid for sampling of over 1,500 residential wells, provided bottled water to over 1,200 homes, and installed over 70 monitoring wells.

In late November, Wolverine provided details about the operation and maintenance of the Culligan/Calgon whole house filter systems that Wolverine selected, which have been used to treat water for PFAS in over 1,500 homes around the country and have been demonstrated to effectively remove PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS, ensuring that these compounds are not returned to the environment.  These filters include at least two granular activated carbon canisters and two sediment filters.  The frequency for carbon canister replacement will be determined based on post-installation testing results, and Culligan will remove and dispose of these canisters when they are replaced.  The sediment filters will be changed by Culligan every four months, and homeowners can place the used filters in their garbage.  Homeowners will be notified by Culligan when either the carbon canisters or sediment filters need to be replaced.

Additional information about this filtration system and a diagram depicting the different filters can be found here.  We will continue to keep the community updated about monitoring results and filter maintenance through our blog at WeAreWolverine.com.  Any residents with questions are encouraged to contact us directly at (616) 866-5627 of HouseStreet@wwwinc.com.

Wolverine Extends Water Filtration Program

In our ongoing commitment to provide residents confidence in their drinking water, Wolverine Worldwide has made the decision to extend its filtration program to residents in the MDEQ-defined Rogue River, Wolven Northeast, and North Childsdale Study Areas.  While sources are still being identified, we remain committed to the community and to doing what we believe to be the right thing for our friends, family and neighbors.

On January 10, 2018, the State of Michigan adopted a drinking water criterion of 70 ppt combined for PFOA and PFOS, which set an official standard for acceptable concentrations of these substances in groundwater used for drinking water purposes.  This is the same conservative level adopted by the EPA in May 2016, which includes a significant safety buffer and assumes continued exposure over an entire 70-year lifetime.

As a result of the state’s new criterion of 70 ppt for PFOA/PFOS, Wolverine has changed its water filtration program in the study areas, including  the Rogue River, Wolven Northeast, and North Childsdale Study Areas, as follows:

  • Residents who have received confirmed results with a combined detection over 70 ppt for PFOA/PFOS are eligible to receive a whole house filter. Eligible residents will be contacted by Culligan to arrange for installation.  These systems use dual canister granular activated carbon adsorption, and retesting from over 500 systems installed locally has demonstrated that they effectively remove PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS, while at the same time ensuring that these substances are not returned to the environment.  Post-installation sampling and filter replacement for whole house filters is being conducted at Wolverine’s expense while additional data is collected.
  • Residents who have received confirmed results with a detection of PFOA or PFOS, but at a combined level that does not exceed 70 ppt, are eligible to receive a point-of-use filter for their kitchen sink. These systems are simple to operate, certified for the removal of PFOA/PFOS, and Wolverine has successfully installed over 100 of them in area homes.  Filter replacement for point-of-use filters is being conducted at Wolverine’s expense while additional data is collected.

Even though the State has determined that 70 ppt of PFOA/PFOS is an acceptable level in drinking water, Wolverine is offering point-of-use filters to residents with lower concentrations because we are committed to providing residents confidence in their drinking water, and to doing what we believe to be the right thing for our friends, family and neighbors.

We started this blog to speak directly to the community and to help keep the facts straight, and we intend to do just that.  Any residents with questions are encouraged to contact Wolverine directly at (616) 866-5627 or HouseStreet@wwwinc.com.

We Are Wolverine.

Wolverine Continues to Work with the State to Develop Long-Term Water Solutions; Welcomes Plainfield Township Input

Wolverine Worldwide has consistently said that all options remain on the table related to resolving the water quality issues facing our community, and that it is open to a comprehensive solution based on the right data and involving all necessary parties.

Wolverine’s commitment to being part of a long-term solution is apparent from its actions – it has paid for over 1,500 groundwater tests, provided bottled water to over 1,200 homes, installed over 70 monitoring wells, and installed over 500 whole-house filters and over 100 point-of-use filters.

The vast majority of these filters are in homes with no detections of PFOA/PFOS or with levels far below the conservative 70 parts per trillion (ppt) level set by the EPA and the State for PFOA/PFOS.  In addition, we recently committed $40 million towards our continuing efforts to address water quality in the area.

These proactive steps have ensured that residents have safe, high quality water that exceeds the safety levels set by the EPA and the State of Michigan.  They have also provided all parties the time and opportunity to gather the necessary data, involve the appropriate parties, and identify and implement the right long-term solutions for our community.  Wolverine has been working diligently and cooperatively through this process with the State for nearly a year, and last month the State filed a lawsuit seeking to formalize and solidify the timeline and next steps.

We understand Plainfield Township is considering a resolution tonight to try to become a party to the State’s lawsuit.  It is possible an expansion of the Township’s municipal water system could be part of a comprehensive plan, along with other solutions used around the country, like drilling deeper wells and using filters similar to those Wolverine has already provided.  Given this, we welcome the Township’s input into our discussions with the State about long-term solutions.

Due to the involvement of the State and the process it has initiated, however, we are not in a position to move forward with separate, premature discussions with the Township on its proposal to begin construction of a municipal water extension this summer.  This would short circuit the State’s involvement and our responsibility to them. It also would not be based on the right data, would not take into account the significant water solutions Wolverine has already implemented, and would not involve the right parties.

We’ve said from the start that we will see this issue through to the end, and we are committed to providing the residents of our community the confidence they deserve in their water.  To accomplish this, we will continue our collaborative and expedited efforts to develop long-term water solutions for the community and, as appropriate, we welcome the Township to participate in our discussions and actions with the State on this topic.

We started this blog to speak directly to the community and to help keep the facts straight, and we intend to do just that.  Any residents with questions are encouraged to contact Wolverine directly at (616) 866-5627 or HouseStreet@wwwinc.com.

We Are Wolverine.

Wolverine Remains Committed to the Community During Litigation Process

Wolverine Worldwide would like to underscore its commitment to developing long-term groundwater water solutions for the community.  We’ve said from the start that we plan to see this issue through to the end, and our goal continues to be providing the residents of our hometown the confidence they deserve in their water.  We believe our voluntary and diligent actions to date are evidence to our past and on-going efforts to “do the right thing.”

These actions include providing water to residents as they wait for test results, paying for more than 1,500 groundwater tests, installing over 70 monitoring wells, and installing more than 500 whole-home filters – the vast majority of which are in homes with non-detects for PFOA/PFAS or with levels well below the Michigan criteria and federal advisories of 70 ppt for PFOA/PFOS.  In addition, we continue to work diligently with local, state and federal regulators, and recently announced that we’ve pledged $40 million towards our continuing efforts to address these issues for our community and our friends, families, and neighbors who live here.

At the same time, we’re entering a new chapter, and we are forced to defend ourselves in various legal proceedings.  While we intend to remain a good partner and corporate citizen, and ultimately to be a part of the solution to the issues facing our community, we will simultaneously protect and vigorously defend Wolverine against these lawsuits.  For a company that has been around for over 140 years and both a leader and contributor to this community, no one should expect anything less from us.

The bottom line is that many of the allegations made by plaintiffs’ attorneys in the state court lawsuits are misleading and simply not supported by the facts.  There is no imminent danger to the health of anyone involved in these lawsuits, and the vast majority of these plaintiffs had safe drinking water even before Wolverine voluntarily provided them with alternate water solutions.  Those that exceeded the Michigan criteria and federal advisories of 70 ppt for PFOA/PFOS have all been provided bottled water and/or water filters at Wolverine’s expense.

Wolverine also believes certain issues raised in the federal class action lawsuit should be addressed before proceeding with individual state court lawsuits and, because of this, we have asked the Kent County Circuit Court to put the individual state court lawsuits on hold.

We started this blog to speak directly to the community and to help keep the facts straight, and we intend to do just that.  Any residents with questions are encouraged to contact Wolverine directly at (616) 866-5627 or HouseStreet@wwwinc.com.

We Are Wolverine.