Reminder: Community Town Hall to be held this Evening

Representatives from Wolverine Worldwide will participate in a community town hall meeting to address the latest information about the presence of PFAS in area groundwater.  The meeting will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight at the Rockford Freshman Center, 4500 Kroes Street NE.

Hosted by the Kent County Health Department, the event will address the presence of PFAS in groundwater, the well sampling being conducted, how to interpret the results, and what steps are being taken to address the situation.  The event will be moderated by Steve Kelso of the Kent County Health Department, and residents will have the opportunity to ask questions.  In addition, the event will also be livestreamed and can be accessed at the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf4dfh8ZEbk0mvp8z7iLdEg/live

Wolverine Worldwide is participating in the event so the community can hear our point of view and understand the actions we have been taking to ensure that all residents have confidence in their drinking water.  Agencies and other organizations participating in the event include the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the Kent County Health Department.

Finally, prior to the town hall residents can ask questions of Wolverine and the participating agencies in a one-on-one setting, starting at 4:00 pm in the school cafeteria.

 

Letter to Homeowners Regarding Water Filtration Operation and Maintenance

There have been questions regarding the operation and maintenance of water filtration system operation and maintenance. We wanted to share with the community a letter that is being sent to homeowners regarding this topic.

Wolverine Worldwide has offered to provide you with a whole house filtration system (“WHF”), which will be installed at your home by Kaat’s Culligan.  Specifications of the WHF can be found on Wolverine’s blog, www.WeAreWolverine.com, and details about the operations and maintenance of the WHF are included in this letter.

  • The WHF components include a pre-sediment filter, two carbon canisters, a post-sediment filter, a flow meter, and a UV lamp.
  • The UV lamp unit requires a GFI electrical outlet. If your installation location does not have a GFI outlet, you will be contacted by Allied or Town and Country Electric to schedule the installation.  The UV lamp does not need to plugged in to run the system.
  • Following installation of the WHF, approximately 200 gallons of water will be flushed through the system to check piping connections, sampling ports, and flow meter performance. Following this system flush, you may begin using your WHF system.
  • Post-Installation Sampling

After your WHF is installed and flushed, Rose & Westra/GZA will contact you to schedule initial sampling for PFAS.  Following initial sampling, PFAS will be sampled on the following schedule:

Annually – for homes that are non-detect for PFOA/PFOS

Semi-annually – for homes that are from 1-70 ppt of PFOA/PFOS

Quarterly – for homes that are from 71-1000 of PFOA/PFOS

Monthly – for homes that are from 1000-7,499 of PFOA/PFOS

Weekly – for homes that are 7,500 or higher for PFOA/PFOS

Results will be continuously reviewed and used to revise the recommended sampling schedule, if needed.

  • Filter replacement

After your WHF is installed, certain maintenance is needed for its continued operation on the following schedule:

Every 4 months – replace the pre- and post-sediment filters

Every 12 months – quartz sleeve and UV lamp replacement.

TBD – a schedule for carbon canister replacement will be determined based on the results of post-installation sampling

  • Post-installation sampling and filter replacement will be conducted at Wolverine’s expense while additional data is collected.

 

Call Center Update (Week of November 20)

To aid in our transparency, over the next several weeks, we will be posting weekly call center updates every Tuesday for the previous week. These metrics will address the number of calls made by our team, the number of calls we have received, the number of call backs needed, the number of unanswered emails and the number of emails sent by our call center to support the community.

Calls Received 49
Calls Made 35
Call Backs Needed 0
Unanswered Emails 2
Emails Sent 16

Any residents with questions are encouraged to contact us directly at 616.866.5627 or HouseStreet@wwwinc.com.

Weekly Update – November 22

The goal of WeAreWolverine.com is to provide regular updates to the community on what’s happening and what we are doing to address the situation.

Below, you’ll find important updates for this week…

Well Testing Results
To date, we’ve sampled approximately 640 wells in the House Street Study Area, Buffer Zone, and Southeast Expansion Area, and have received results for 594 of them, or approximately 93%.

So far, 564 wells have tested below the very conservative EPA lifetime drinking water advisory level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA/PFOS – and 30 wells have tested above it.  This level has a significant “safety buffer” built in, including assuming exposure for an entire lifetime, and that a pregnant or nursing woman could drink over 4 liters of water per day at 70 ppt PFOA/PFOS with no effect on developing babies and infants.

Whole House Filter Installation Update
To date, 126 whole house filters have been installed in homes in the House Street Study Area and Buffer Zone, and approximately 16 more are scheduled for this week.  Installations are being prioritized based on the levels of PFOA/PFOS detected in wells.

Our goal set at the end of October was to have 87 whole house filters installed by Thanksgiving – one for each house at that time with any detection of PFOA or PFOS.  This was a very aggressive schedule given the complexity of these custom installations, and some homeowners have voluntarily deferred or not yet scheduled their installations, but we are pleased to report that we have exceeded that goal and will have 137 whole house filters installed by Thanksgiving, but we’re not slowing down.  We plan to install 55 filters each week until we’re done.

As we announced (click here) last week, we will be expanding our whole-house filtration program to include all homes in the House Street Southeast Expansion Area that have confirmed test results with any detection of PFOA or PFOS.  In the interim, while results are being received, every home in this area is being provided with bottled water through Culligan.  Eligible homeowners will be contacted by Culligan to arrange for whole house filter installation.

Field Work Update – Imperial Pine Waste Removal
The field work to remove non-hazardous waste from a parcel on Imperial Pine is expected to be complete next week, and all waste has been disposed of by our contractor at a state-licensed facility.  We’ll be working to further assess the site and determine what steps, if any, need to be taken to address any potential landscape or erosion issues.  We appreciate the patience of the residents in the area while this work is being completed.

November 29th Town Hall
Wolverine will be participating in the November 29th Public Town Hall hosted by the Kent County Health Department.  The meeting will take place at on Wednesday, November 29th at Rockford High School Freshman Center (4500 Kroes Street NE).  Representatives from Wolverine and the participating agencies will be available beginning at 4.00pm for one-on-one consultations with residents, followed by the Town Hall running from 6.00-9.00 pm.

We developed this blog as one way for you to hear directly from us and you’ll be hearing more from us in the coming days and weeks.  West Michigan is our home and we’ve always acted responsibly and taken our obligations as part of this community personally – for over a hundred years, Wolverine has been not only a leader and contributor to this community, but we’ve also been your neighbor – that’s why we’ve taken the proactive steps we have so far and why we’re committed to seeing this through to the end.  We hope you’ll follow this blog, learn about what we’re doing to make this right, and hear the other side of the story.

We Are Wolverine.