‘Mystery’ PFAS foam still flows after heavy rain

Aug 23, 2019

Clues are still sought in the case of the so-called “mystery foam” first reported flowing down an embankment and onto a Detroit-area roadway in summer 2018.

While officials determined last spring that the thick foam contained high levels of PFAS and seemed to be moving through an unused storm sewer pipe, they’re also not closer to stopping it or identifying the cause.

That became an issue after heavy rains in July resulted in “several more events of some foam coming out of the storm sewer,” said Stephen Kuplicki, manager of industrial waste at Great Lakes Water Authority.

State officials took new samples on August 12, and now both GLWA and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy await the results.

“EGLE staff assisted GLWA by collecting some storm water samples for PFAS analysis upstream of discharge point,” said Scott Dean, spokeperson for the state on PFAS issues. “These samples could help us identify the possible source.”

The foam first was reported in summer 2018 as the foam flowed onto Schaefer Highway on the border of Melvindale and Detroit.

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