Freshwater Weekly: February 16th, 2020

Posted on February 17, 2020 by

February 14, 2020

This week: PFAS in Pellston, Michigan Found through Freshwater Future PFAS Testing Program + House Passes Legislation to Boost Great Lakes Cleanup Money + Michigan Teen Turns Plastic Thrown in the Great Lakes into Clothing + South Side Chicago Residents Working on Lead Issues

PFAS in Pellston, Michigan Found through Freshwater Future PFAS Testing Program 

High School students from Pellston, Michigan volunteered to help Freshwater Future test area homes for the toxic chemicals called PFAS,  discovering levels of concern in residential wells. State agencies confirmed the levels and held a Town Hall on Wednesday to inform residents of areas available for free testing from the State and steps to receive filters if needed.  “Freshwater Future’s PFAS testing program was created to help communities, like Pellston, to conduct citizen science to gather information on drinking water quality, and clearly it is working” shared Jill Ryan, Executive Director at Freshwater Future.

Not All Water Filters Remove “Forever Chemicals” or PFAS

Water filters vary greatly in their effectiveness to remove PFAS according to a recent study by Duke University and North Carolina State researchers.   The research tested 89 different filters and found that the under the sink reverse osmosis filters and two-stage filters proved to be the most effective at removing PFAS.

Congress Boosts Great Lakes Cleanup Money

Congress authorized funding of  $320M for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The initiative has funded thousands of projects throughout the Great Lakes basin since 2010, helping to clean up some of the most toxic places around the Great Lakes and restoring wetlands and shoreline habitats. 

Michigan teen turns plastic thrown in the Great Lakes into clothing

Jackson Reigler turned a passion for reducing plastic pollution into a business.  As a junior in high school, Reigler sold t-shirts made from recycled plastic purchased from China.  Two years later the business has grown and is now sourcing the recycled shirts from the US, further reducing environmental impacts from shipping.  Reigler donates 5% of proceeds to nonprofits working to preserve the Great Lakes. A goal for the company is to incorporate more plastic from beach cleanups and eventually having the shirts sourced entirely from Great Lakes plastics.

South Side Chicago Residents Working on Lead Issues

Educators and community leaders gathered at BIG’s (Blacks in Green) Green Living Room last week to take action to identify lead contamination problems on the South Side of Chicago.  Freshwater Future staff members were on-hand to assist with lead sampling techniques and to share what other community Water Councils are doing to address drinking water issues.

Pictured: Freshwater Future’s Alicia Smith, Brandon Tyus, Ann Baughman, & Alexis Smith with teachers, authors, and professionals of the Chicago Community.

PFAS Test Kits – GIFT a KIT!
Freshwater Future believes everyone has a right to know what is in their drinking water, regardless of what’s in their wallets. We have partnered with the University of Michigan Biological Station and other donors to offer PFAS testing for homes on private wells at reduced rates. You can help make our kits even more accessible by selecting Gift a Kit at check out. We’ll use your donation to send a kit to someone else as part of our “Pay What You Can Program”. Get (or gift) your test kits today!


© 2022 Freshwater Future. All Rights Reserved.

Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.