The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has begun a statewide initiative to test drinking water from all schools that use well water and community water supplies. The test is looking for a group of manmade chemicals called per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). MDEQ is taking this precautionary step of testing these drinking water sources to determine if public health actions are needed.
A toolkit containing communication templates was developed to help schools notify staff, students, and parents of this process and of the testing results. This is a resource available to your school if you choose, it is not required that you use these templates. All templates can be modified to fit your school’s needs. Below is a description of the documents included in this toolkit.
If your school district has schools on wells and on municipal water supplies, note that the school(s) on the municipal water supplies will be notified of results and next steps by the water suppliers. It is important to communicate to your staff and parents the information the water supplier provides.
The pre-notification template provides language for notifying staff, students, and parents of the PFAS testing initiative. Language could be used in a variety of formats and delivered to your school community by a press release, newsletter, letter, email, or other communication channels. Click here to access the template: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/Pre-Notification_Template_623399_7.DOCX
Please see below letter templates that notify staff, students, and parents of the sample results. These letters indicate what the results mean and possible next steps.
- Less than 10ppt – School Letter Template: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/Non-Detect_Letter_Template_623400_7.DOCX
- Between 10ppt and 70ppt – School Letter Template: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/10_to_70_Letter_Template_623401_7.DOCX
- Greater than 70ppt – School Letter Template: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/Greater_than_70_Letter_Template_623402_7.DOCX
Greater than 70 MDHHS Advice Letter
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will provide you with a letter containing the department’s human health advisement if results are greater than 70 ppt for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). These are two of the PFAS compounds (individually or combined).
The letter provided to you by MDHHS may not be modified.
Frequently asked questions with answers. This document is intended as a reference for school officials internal use only: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/PFAS_FAQ_623406_7.pdf
A copy of the press release is available for you to review: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/PWS_testing_press_623403_7.docx
If you have any questions or concerns, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has created an email address where school districts may send inquiries – MDE-PFASTESTING@michigan.gov. The MDE will work with partners at the MichiganDepartment of Environmental Quality(MDEQ) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to obtain answers and direction.
Below is contact information if you prefer to contact the MDEQ and MDHHS directly:
- MDEQ related calls should go to the Environmental Assistance Center at 1-800662-9278 and emails about testing can be sent to DEQ-PFASDrinkingWater@michigan.gov.
- For health-related questions, please contact the MDHHS at 1-800-648-6942.
- The State of Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) website is the main resource for public information on PFAS contamination in Michigan – www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse