Wolverine to Sample Wolven Northeast Study Area

Wolverine Worldwide will soon begin sampling approximately 100 residential wells for PFOA and PFOS in the Wolven Northeast Study Area – an area newly-established by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and located in the vicinity of 11 Mile Road between Wolven Avenue and Summit Avenue.  Wolverine and its environmental engineers, Rose & Westra/GZA, began notifying homeowners on February 5, 2018, and sampling is expected to begin later this week.  Homeowners are being provided with bottled water while waiting for their results, which we expect to be available within four weeks after sampling.  We will post a map of this study area on our Maps section when one becomes available.

We will continue to keep the community updated about this issue through our blog at WeAreWolverine.com.

Retesting Results Demonstrate Effectiveness of Whole House Filters

In our ongoing commitment to provide residents confidence in their drinking water, Wolverine Worldwide has been providing whole house filters to residents in the MDEQ-defined House Street, Jewell, and Wolven Study Areas that have confirmed test results with any detection of PFOA or PFOS. While the extent of any impacted area has not been determined, and sources are still being identified, we remain committed to the community and doing what we believe to be the right thing for our friends, family and neighbors.

To date, Wolverine has paid for the installation, testing, and maintenance of approximately 460 whole house filters, and additional installations are taking place every week. Last year, Wolverine selected the Culligan/Calgon filtration system, which relies on dual canister granular activated carbon (“GAC”) adsorption. This system has been demonstrated to effectively remove PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS, and ensures that these compounds are not returned to the environment. The Culligan/Calgon filtration system has been used to treat water for PFAS in over 1,000 homes around the country. More information on the Culligan/Calgon filtration system can be found here.

In late November, Wolverine provided details about the operations and maintenance of the whole house filters, including the timing and process for sampling water after the installation of whole house filters.

We have now received retesting data from over 280 homes, which demonstrates that the whole house filters effectively reduce PFOA/PFOS to levels far below the EPA’s very conservative lifetime health advisory level of 70 ppt. More information about PFOA, PFOS, and this advisory level can be found in our blog post.

In our continuing efforts to share information and be transparent with the community, we wanted to provide some highlights of the retesting results:

  • Homes with the highest concentrations of PFOA/PFOS (over 7,500 ppt), are tested weekly after the whole house filters are installed.  As a result, we have the most data for these homes, and after a brief break-in period, all results for the filtered water are less than 3 ppt for PFOA/PFOS.
  • Homes with PFOA/PFOS concentrations of 1,000-7,499 ppt are tested monthly after the whole house filters are installed, and for these homes the filtered water after the brief break-in period are less than 3 ppt for PFOA/PFOS.
  • Homes with PFOA/PFOS concentrations of 71-1,000 ppt are tested quarterly after the whole house filters are installed, and for these homes the water between the two carbon canisters ranges from non-detect to less than 10 ppt for PFOA/PFOS.  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.

All retesting results either have been or are in the process of being communicated to homeowners and the MDEQ. For those who have not yet received retesting results, it can take up to five weeks to receive them from the laboratory, so we appreciate the community’s patience during this process.

We will continue to keep the community updated about these results and this issue through our blog at WeAreWolverine.com. Any residents with questions are encouraged to contact us directly at (616) 866-5627 of HouseStreet@wwwinc.com

Weekly Update – January 19

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 642 wells in the House Street Study Area, Buffer Zone, and Southeast Expansion Area, and have received results for 641 of them.  So far, 611 of these wells have tested below EPA lifetime drinking water advisory level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA/PFOS – and 30 wells have tested above it.

The EPA lifetime drinking water advisory level of 70 ppt 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.  For more information, please see our blog post on this topic.

In addition to the House Street Study Area sampling mentioned above, we’ve also sampled approximately 412 wells in the Jewell and Wolven Study Areas, and have received results for 310 of them.  So far, 256 of these wells have tested below 70 ppt, and 54 wells have tested above it.

Finally, over 200 homes in the Rogue Area have been sampled over the past two weeks.  There are more to sample, and we are working through those as permission is granted.  We expect to receive the majority of those results in the next two to three weeks

Whole House Filter Installation Update
To date, 448 whole house filters have been installed in homes in the House Street, Wolven, and Jewell Study Areas.  Installations are being prioritized based on the levels of PFOA/PFOS detected in wells

Field Work Update
The field work to remove non-hazardous waste from two parcels in the House Street area is complete, and all waste has been disposed of by our contractor at a state-licensed facility.  Additional removal actions will occur as weather permits and Wolverine obtains permission from landowners.   We will be drilling approximately 10-12 additional monitoring wells over the coming months, in both the House Street and Wolven Study Areas.  We appreciate the patience of the residents in these areas while this work is being completed.

We developed this blog as one way for you to hear directly from us. 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 keep following this blog, learn about what we’re doing to make this right, and hear our side of the story.

We Are Wolverine.