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East Rockford Middle School water samples show no signs of PFAS

East Rockford Middle School
Rockford Public Schools
East Rockford Middle School

One West Michigan school community can feel more at ease. Water samples from East Rockford Middle School were tested, and show no signs of toxic chemicals.

The chemicals that were tested for are known as PFAS, and they are often used to waterproof leather goods.

Shoemaker Wolverine Worldwide is believed to have contaminated some private wells with PFAS from their old dump sites about 10 miles north of Grand Rapids.

Michael Shibler is the superintendent of Rockford Public Schools. He says he got the results last night, “and it was certainly a relief to hear that there was no PFAS contamination detected in the water.”

Shibler says there are more schools that use private wells in the district, and those still need to be tested.

“Wolverine Worldwide and the DEQ have stepped up and accepted my request [for] those three wells at those elementary [schools] be tested as well,” Shibler said.

Test results for those three schools should be back in the next two weeks.

Only the schools using private wells will be tested, according to Shibler. The schools on the municipal water system won’t be.

Wolverine Worldwide did supply the school with bottled water while waiting for the results to come back.

For more information about water testing and the MDEQ's PFAS investigation, go to the MDEQ's website.  

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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