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Students return to school as MDEQ continues testing for contaminated water

drinking fountain
Some Michigan schools will provide alternative water to students until the state completes testing to determine if their drinking water is contaminated.

As Michigan children return to school, the state still has yet to complete testing to determine if there are contaminants in their drinking water.

For months a special task force has been testing school and municipal water systems for PFAS, a manufactured chemical linked to numerous health problems including cancer.

Scott Dean is with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.  

Dean says schools have so far tested within acceptable limits – below the 70 parts per trillion action level – but he says some districts are taking additional precautions.

“Some have decided they will supply alternative water to their students and faculty even if they’re not above the 70,” he said. “So it gives them the choice, and the data, to make an informed choice of how they’re going to operate the school.”

Dean expects the task force will complete its PFAS testing in the next few months. He was a guest on Michigan Radio's Stateside program.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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