Burger/Goodwood PFAS  Remediation

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Project engineers, Prein & Newhof, keep a frequently updated webpage for the project. Cascade Township will continue to send out periodic eblasts with updates and reminders, as well as keep this page up-to-date.  

If you are interested in receiving email updates regarding the PFAS Remediation Water Extension Project, click here to subscribe to the PFAS e-news list.  

Jump down to:  Phase One 'Last Chance'Water Filtration System RemovalPhase Two
Phase Two Tree Removal - Groundwater RestrictionsPrevious Updates - Useful Links


Phase One Update- Updated 5.23.24

Phase One 'Last Chance'
All residences in Phase One of the project recently received a letter from the Township detailing the end of Phase One.  Almost all houses in Phase One have connected to municipal water but there are quite a few residences who have not had their wells capped. We realize that some residents do not want to cap their wells so they can continue using them for irrigation.  At the beginning of the project, we told residents we would send out a letter to make them aware when it was the ‘last chance’ to have their well capped and/or connect to municipal water; that day will be June 30, 2024.  Any residences that were part of Phase One have until June 30, 2024 to schedule a connection to municipal water and/or a well capping and report it to Cascade Township if they wish to receive reimbursement.  

If a resident has already connected to municipal water and their well was not capped at that time, but now they wish to cap their well, the contractor will be reimbursed for the cost associated with the capping but the resident will have to pay any portion of the bill related to modification necessary to disconnect their irrigation system from the well that normally would have been removed when connecting to city water.    If a resident chose to keep their well for irrigation and connected the rest of their property to city water, they are responsible for all costs for any modification necessary to continue using the well for irrigation and these costs will not be reimbursed if the well needs to be abandoned in the future.

The reason June 30, 2024 is the ‘last chance’ is due to the expiration of grants and funding that was allocated to Phase One of the project.  Phase Two has been funded through different grants and funding sources, so Phase One residences that do not schedule their connection by June 30, 2024 will not be able to tag onto Phase Two due to the specificity of the funding requirements.

Phase One Whole Home Water Filtration System Removal
Now that water main installation is complete for Phase One, water filtration systems are no longer needed in homes that have connected to city water.  The Township is going through the lists of homes that are receiving bottled water and water filtration services and compare it with addresses that have connected to city water.  Residences that had a whole home water filtration system installed due to PFAS contamination have the opportunity to keep the filtration system and take on full responsibility for system maintenance and disposal. Since there is generally a high cost to remove and dispose of the filtration systems, we are requiring all residences who want to keep their whole home filtration system to sign a filter agreement, transferring the title of the filtration system to the homeowner.  There will not be an additional cost to the resident from the township to keep the whole home filtration system.  If this is something you are interested in, please email goodwoodwater@gmail.com for a copy of the form and further information.  

Phase Two
The construction contract for Phase Two of the water main extension project has been awarded.  The City of Grand Rapids has officially selected CL Trucking and Excavating, LLC.  Unfortunately, due to a delay in securing project funding, the City of Grand Rapids was unable to award the contract in sufficient time to guarantee completion in the 2024 calendar year as originally publicized.  Cascade Township is working closely with the City and its consultant engineer, Prein & Newhof to encourage and coordinate with the contractor to begin construction as soon as possible.  This could be as early as fall 2024, but with most of the construction completed in 2025.  The contractual completion date for Phase Two water main extension is November 1, 2025.
 
Cascade Township will communicate the project schedule to residents as it becomes available from the contractor.  Stay tuned for instructions on picking a plumber to connect your house to the watermain once public water is made available to your property.  Residents will have at least through spring 2026 to complete their connection.  Similar to the informational meeting the Township held before Phase One began, Township staff and project partners will hold a public meeting to discuss the project and answer resident questions.  Information will be provided via postmarked mail, online on our website, and by electronic newsletter.  Please continue directing questions on Phase Two of the project to goodwoodwater@gmail.com.

Phase Two Tree Removal
Due to the nature of the project’s funding, no tree removal is permitted between April and October, to preserve bat roosting habitats.  In order to begin installation in 2024 as quickly as possible, the Township sent letters to residences who would have one or more trees removed in winter 2023.  This is only taking place in a small portion of Phase Two’s scope, with additional tree removal occurring in 2024 and potentially 2025.  

Groundwater Restrictions

At the beginning of the Goodwood/Berger PFAS investigation, there was discussion that the township may adopt a Groundwater Use Ordinance, like the one adopted in Plainfield Township.  Cascade Township does not currently intend to pass any type of Groundwater Use Ordinance because, unlike Plainfield, Cascade was able to secure enough grant funding from the state and federal government to cover the project without requiring the same magnitude of funding from the party at fault which the township identifies as the Gerald R Ford International Airport.  Plainfield Township passed a Groundwater Use Ordinance as part of their agreement with Wolverine World Wide that provided for PFAS cleanup costs.

This means that Cascade Township will not be requiring residents to cap their wells or hook up to city water at this time.   If the state were to require this type of ordinance in the future, the situation would become more complicated.  Depending on the circumstances, the Township may be able to ask the GR Ford Airport to pay for well capping as part of remediation, but that depends on how many years down the line this legislation would be adopted and what it required.  

There is already a portion of Cascade Township's ordinance that addresses required city water connections at residences where it is available:

§ 313-83. Public water connection required. [Amended 12-22-1993 by Ord. No. 18-1993; 6-13-2018 by Ord. No. 5-2018]

C. All existing single-family residential structures and multifamily residential structures, including such structures which are covered by an existing Special Assessment District for public water, shall be required to connect to available public water: 
(1) When there is a major repair required of the private well, as determined by the Kent County Health Department.

Failure of a well would constitute a 'major repair', as determined by the health department, and would require connection to 'available public water', as defined earlier in the ordinance.  

§ 313-82. Definitions. As used in this Part 6, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated: AVAILABLE PUBLIC WATER — Public water pipes located in a right-of-way, easement, highway, street, or public way which crosses, joins, or abuts upon the property and passing not more than 300 feet at the nearest point from a structure.

This means that if your property is closer than 300 ft from public water utilities, whether they were available prior to this project or were installed as a result of this project, and your well fails, you won't be allowed to drill a new well.  In this circumstance you would have to move onto city water and there isn't any guarantee that government funding would be available at that time; this would put the monetary burden of connection to city water on the property.

The Township is not currently planning to impose water testing requirements at residences that do not connect during the project.
 

Project Contacts
A list of contacts for the project can be found on the left-hand side of the Prein & Newhof project page here: https://www.preinnewhof.com/construction_projects/goodwood-watermain/.

If you don’t see your question/answer above, you can always reach out to the project email address at goodwoodwater@gmail.com.


Previous Updates

Phase One Closeout Letter - 5.21.24
View the letter sent to all Phase One residents explaining that Phase One of the project would be ending and what they would need to do if they still wanted to connect to municipal water as part of the project.

Project Update - 11.28.23
View the complete 11.28.23 project update for historical information on Phase One tree restoration, whole home water filtration system removal, Phase Two tree removal, keeping wells for irrigation and accessing clean water until municipal water connections are complete. 

Project Update - 2.08.23 
View the 2.08.23 project update for answers to common questions about connecting to the water system as well as information about keeping wells for irrigation and accessing clean water until the connections are made. 

Project Timeline - 10.12.22
Due to circumstances outside of the Township’s control, the construction contractor for the Cascade PFAS Remediation Water Extension Project has indicated that construction on this project will now commence in spring of 2023. The Township is working with the City of Grand Rapids, project contractors, and project engineers to ensure this delay does not effect the agreed upon completion date of the project and that clean water is brought to the neighborhood as soon as possible. We will provide another update with more information as soon as one is available.

Project Timeline - 10.05.22
Water main connections are set to begin on 10.10.22.  Check out our most updated project timeline for more information. 

Visit the P&N Construction Update Page
In addition to this project page maintained by Cascade Township, Prein & Newhof is also maintaining a project page which will be updated regularly regarding weekly work schedules once the project begins.


September 7 & October 12, 2022 - Residential Connection FAQ  Map outlining project phases

August 2, 2022 - Project update

June 10, 2022 - Update of the project schedule

May 31, 2022 - Update to the project plan

June 19, 2020 - EGLE update regarding residential well sampling

February 19, 2020 - Update #4 - Cascade Township Residential Drinking Water Well Sampling

November 15, 2019 - Update #3 - Cascade Township Residential Drinking Water Well Sampling

August 5, 2019 - Update # 2 - Cascade Township Residential Drinking Water Well Sampling

May 16, 2019 - Update #1 - Cascade Township Residential Drinking Water Well Sampling​

March 12, 2019 - The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality conducted an evaluation of residential drinking wells for PFAS compounds in approximately 50 homes along the Trout Creek area east of the 36th Street exits off I-96 and west of Tricklewood Drive. Residents previously sampled as part of the efforts by Gerald R. Ford International Airport or Lacks Industries were not resampled. Residents who provided independent PFAS results below 5 ppt were not contacted.

Register for future updates from MDEQ on the “Cascade Township Residential Wells Sampling and PFAS Analysis” listserv.

Full news release

September 26, 2018 - Airport Residential Well Testing Results Statement

June 29, 2018 - Kent County Health Department news release advising against the ingestion of foam on the Thornapple River. Sample set results can be viewed here.

June 15, 2018 - State of Michigan PFAS Health Advisory Level & Cleanup Criteria Report from GR Ford Airport's multi-step evaluation process to assess the protential presence of PFAS on airport property. 

May 31, 2018 - Airport testing process details as they near the conclusion of the sample collection phase

April 19, 2018 - The Township learned of potential PFAS contamination caused by a fire-retardant material, known as the AFFF, at the airport, Cascade Charter Township hired Fleis & VandenBrink to test the two wells that serve Cascade Township Park, located at 3810 Thornapple River Dr. SE. Test results determined no amount of PFAS was detected in the wells that serve the park.  See the summary of the report and the full report.

March 30, 2018 - Previous Township Manager Ben Swayze spoke with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and learned:

  • March 29 - The DEQ did not have confirmation of PFAS contamination in or around the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
  • The DEQ formally asked the airport to conduct an investigation into the chemicals used in firefighting foam. This process included soil sampling and aquifer profiling in order to map out the potential for contamination.
  • The DEQ was the first contact for residents and could be reached at the Environmental Assistance Center at 800.662.9278. The DEQ did not advised residents to drink bottled water or to have their wells tested at that time.
  • Residents interested in the state’s response to PFAS in Northern Kent County can find more information here

In partnership with the City of Grand Rapids, the Township applied for and was awarded a $5 million grant to begin the extension of municipal water service to the Trout Creek area, where drinking wells have been contaminated with PFAS. In addition, the state of Michigan has provided $1.65 million for the project. This funding ensures phase 1 of the project can begin in 2022. The Township and other project partners are pursuing funding for phase 2 of the project, which is expected to be completed in 2023.

If you are interested in receiving email updates regarding the PFAS Remediation Water Extension Project, click here to subscribe to the PFAS e-news list.  


Useful Links


 PDF Icon PFAS Grant Application

 PDF Icon PFAS Project Map

 PDF Icon Safe Water for Cascade - PFAS Community Forum Presentation

 PDF Icon PFAS Meeting - Letter to Residents

 PDF Icon Watermain Plans 

 PDF Icon Community Meeting - Prepared Slides

Gerald R. Ford International Airport Contact Info

February 3, 2022 Citizens Meeting Video Recording

PFAS Citizens Committee Agendas/Packets - This committee meets the first Thursday of every other month at 4:00 p.m. at the Cascade Township Office (5920 Tahoe Dr. SE).

State of Michigan PFAS Action Response Team - Cascade Township

State of Michigan PFAS Action Response Team -  Gerald R. Ford International Airport