There is an area in Washtenaw County where the chemical 1,4-dioxane is underground. The area includes parts of Scio Township and western Ann Arbor. This contamination is a concern because wells near the area draw groundwater for use in homes and businesses. Washtenaw County Health Department is providing information to help residents understand the current situation and potential health impacts.
The 1,4-dioxane contamination is not a new problem. From 1966 until 1986, Gelman Sciences (later Pall Corporation and now Danaher) used 1,4-dioxane in their manufacturing process. In 1985, 1,4-dioxane was discovered in residential drinking water wells in the area. Unfortunately, 1,4-dioxane does not break down quickly in water. A large plume still exists underground in the soil and water, even after all this time.
A plume happens when a chemical is moving underground in soil or water. In this case, the chemical 1,4-dioxane is moving through groundwater.
See the map of the 1,4-dioxane plume.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and Washtenaw County Health Department have been tracking the contamination and will continue to track it. Since it was discovered, environmental and public health officials have been working with people who live and work in the area to make sure they are informed about the situation and are aware of testing options or results.
Coalition for Action on Remediation of Dioxane (CARD)
The Coalition for Action on Remediation of Dioxane (CARD) is a partnership of local governments and citizens that look at strategies to address the groundwater contamination from the industrial solvent 1,4-dioxane, released by Gelman Sciences, Inc.
Visit the CARD site for more information, and to get involved.
For more information, download Washtenaw County Health Department's 1,4 Dioxane Fact Sheet (PDF).