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Congressional District # 02


EPA ID# MID980701254
Last Updated: March, 2015

Site Description

The Whitehall Municipal Well Superfund site is located in the northeastern section of Whitehall, Michigan. The site is located in Funnel Field, north of Colby Street and south of the ravine and backwaters of the White River.  According to the 2010 census, approximately 9,000 people live in the city of Whitehall.

In 1980, as a result of a routine quarterly sampling of the city's water supply, a volatile organic compound (VOC), tetrachoroethylene, was detected in the water supply. Further testing showed that the source of the contaminant was in one of the city's municipal wells, Production Well 3 (PW-3).  In early 1981, the city took PW-3 offline and increased the pumping rates in three other city wells, PW-2, PW-4 and PW-5, in order to provide an adequate water supply to its residents. The city later installed another municipal well, PW-6, and decided to permanently close PW-3.

Sampling of residential wells located northeast of city well PW-3 along Peterson Road in 1982 indicated that these wells were also contaminated with VOCs. The impacted residences were then connected to the city water supply. Later investigations indicated that the source of this residential well contamination was not related to the contamination found in PW-3.

EPA placed the Whitehall site on the Superfund National Priorities List in September 1983.

Site Responsibility

The Whitehall Municipal Well site was addressed through federal and state actions. 

Threats and Contaminants

Contaminants found in the Whitehall Municipal Well site area groundwater prior to 1982 included the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, and chloroform. After 1982 only minimal levels of VOCs, if any, have been found in PW-3 and in nearby groundwater monitoring wells. The risk assessment completed for the site found that the only unacceptable health risk would be due to the ingestion of, inhalation of, or direct contact with zinc in water pumped from PW-3. However, because PW-3 is no longer in use, no one is being exposed to or drinking contaminated water. 

Cleanup Progress

City well PW-3 was closed in 1981, and new city well PW-6 was brought online to increase the water supply. A remedial investigation and risk assessment later indicated there was no further public health risk involved with the Whitehall Municipal Well site as a result of the closing of PW-3. Therefore, no further site cleanup action was recommended. The site was deleted from the National Priorities List on February 11, 1991.

Although the closing of city well PW-3 eliminated the potential for exposure to hazardous materials at the Whitehall site, the Michigan Department of Public Health continues to routinely sample the city water supply to ensure its long-term safety.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
mary tierney (tierney.mary@epa.gov)
(312) 886-4785





Site Profile Information

This profile provides you with information on EPA's cleanup progress at this Superfund site.


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