Burger/Goodwood PFAS  Remediation


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:  Restoration - Water Filtration System RemovalPhase Two
Phase Two Tree Removal - Groundwater RestrictionsPlumbers & Connection Process
Previous Updates - Useful Links

Project Timeline- Updated 11.28.23

Phase One Tree Restoration
Funding for tree replacement was not included in the remediation portion of the contract between the City of Grand Rapids and project contractors, unbeknownce to Cascade Township. Staff have worked hard to secure additional funding for tree replacement and, in November, sent a letter to all homeowners who had one or more trees removed as part of Phase 1.  This letter asked recipients to email goodwoodwater@gmail.com with a subject line of ‘Burger Goodwood Trees’, call the Township office at (616) 949-1500, or drop off a note at the office (5920 Tahoe Dr. SE) titled ‘Burger Goodwood Trees’ stating their name, address, the number of trees they are interested in having replanted in their yard (up to double the number removed), as well as their email address and/or phone number so that we can contact them with any questions.

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 will soon be 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 will 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
Some funding for Phase Two has now been distributed to the City of Grand Rapids, so the project will now go to bid and preparations can begin. Be on the lookout for more information, both through the email list and on this page. 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 a letter to all 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.  Trees to be removed winter 2023 will be marked with an “X”, on the street facing side, by the project contractor. This will make it possible to begin line instalation in early spring, rather than having to wait until the bad roosting season is over for the year.

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.
Plumber List for Water Service Connections
Water service placement in areas located adjacent to existing water main is ongoing. Plumbing companies are also quoting connections for residents in Phase I. If you have not done so already, please reach out to one or both of the two pre-qualified plumbing companies about connecting to municipal water. The City of Grand Rapids has approved the following companies as plumbers for making the private service connections:
                          McDonald Plumbing                                                BRIK Plumbing
                          Attn: Grace Thumser                                              Attn: Kraig Keegstra
                              (616) 698-6771                                                        (616) 277-1561
                gthumser@mcdonaldplumbing.com                         kraig@brikplumbing.com
Here is the process that will be followed for connections:
  • The property owner can coordinate with one or both of the pre-approved plumbing companies and select the company that they feel most comfortable working at their house.
  • The plumbing company will provide Prein & Newhof (P&N) and the City of Grand Rapids with a property specific quotation form.  This information will also be available to the property owner.
  • P&N will coordinate with the City of Grand Rapids to review the property specific quotation form and verify that it is in line with the costs received at the time of bidding.
  • Once verification of pricing is validated the plumbing company will be approved to complete the work.
  • The plumbing contractor will coordinate with both the City of Grand Rapids and Cascade Township for required inspections.
  • After completion of the work, the plumbing company must compile and submit all required paperwork to P&N and the City of Grand Rapids for review and payment.
  • The City of Grand Rapids will approve payments to be made directly to the plumbing company.

Please note that each connection is unique and there may be questions you have or issues specific to the connection at your home. Please discuss all those issues with your selected plumber and they will review with the project team to determine what is included in the project costs.
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

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