For Immediate Release: Robinson Elementary School, Ottawa County, PFAS test results

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October 31, 2018  |  Robinson School PFAS Update

Robinson Elementary School 

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Grand Haven Area Public Schools (GHAPS) to take the appropriate measures and develop an action plan to help ensure the water our children and residents are drinking meets appropriate state and federal standards.

September 18, 2018 - Initial water sample was taken from Robinson Elementary School in Robinson Township by the MDEQ

October 29, 2018 - Initial test results received for the school were:

PFOA+PFOS = 110 ppt (parts per trillion)
Total PFAS = 144 ppt

The EPA’s Lifetime Health Advisory for PFOA+PFOS Total is 70 ppt

Response: School immediately shut-off drinking water and distributed bottled water to students and staff. A second sample was taken from the school and samples were also taken from a nearby daycare center and the Robinson Township Fire Station.

October 31, 2018 – Second sample test results received for:

Robinson Elementary School results:
PFOA+PFOS = 119 ppt (parts per trillion)
Total PFAS = 171 ppt

The other samples taken on October 29 were far below the Lifetime Health Advisory of 70 ppt:

Daycare center results: 
PFOA+PFOS =  4 ppt (parts per trillion)
Total PFAS =  32 ppt

Robinson Township Fire Station results:
PFOA+PFOS = 5 ppt (parts per trillion)
Total PFAS =  7 ppt

Response: Ottawa County health officials, along with school district leaders, are working closely with the DEQ and DHHS on the next steps.

What are the next steps?

  • MDEQ is actively investigating the situation and cannot speculate at this time about a possible source of contamination. 
  • MDEQ has preliminary assessed that the groundwater flows in a north/north easterly direction.
  • A sandy shallow aquifer is currently being used by the school.
  • Based on the geology and groundwater flow direction, MDEQ has identified 25 properties in a down gradient direction to have their drinking water wells sampled.
  • Those properties selected for sampling will be contacted by the Ottawa County Department of Public Health shortly. 

Robinson Elementary School is open. We will continue to provide bottled water for drinking while the contamination source can be determined and a long-term solution is put in place. Handwashing is safe from the tap.

The state will begin additional cautionary testing in residence surrounding the school and continue to evaluate risks. Residents who fall in the area for additional testing will be contacted as early as Friday.

More information about Michigan's PFAS response at