PULLMAN, Mich. – Residents at an apartment complex in Pullman are under a health advisory and being told not to drink the water.
It comes after the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality found contaminants in their water with some potential health risks.
The contaminant is called cadmium and exposure to it can increase your risk of cancer, kidney and bone damage. A recent routine sampling shows that’s what the residents of Mystic View Apartments may have been drinking for weeks.
One resident said she boiled her water and it came out a white chalky color.
“I had asked for water on Monday. They told me that couldn’t bring water because our water tested fine. That Friday, I got a letter saying we couldn’t drink our water,” says Angie Cambio.
Cambio lives at Mystic View Apartments in Pullman, where two weeks ago residents came home to find a letter on their doors describing just how much cadmium was in the water. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality does routine testing on the well water there and a recent result showed high levels of the heavy metal cadmium, prompting a health advisory from Allegan County.
“We will work with the DEQ once we get the water samples back when they re-sample, and we’ll work with them to see if we need to continue the health advisory longer and they stay on bottled water and try to determine what would happen after that,” says Randy Rapp, Allegan County Environmental Health Manager.
Drinking water with cadmium can cause a number of issues including cancer.
“We’re not supposed to drink with it. We can’t cook with it, so they bring us gallons of water when we ask for it,” says Rosetta Moore, Mystic View Resident.
Some residents say they want to move, but they can’t afford to.
“What do you do? We live here. We’re subsidized. Nobody cares, that’s the whole point. It’s another Flint situation, just smaller,” says Cambio.
Allegan County says the MDEQ will force the Mystic View owners to fix the wells, replace them, or close the apartments if the water results don’t change.
“If they’re lower, they could possibly go on monitoring it more often, more frequently. They may have to put a new well in or new wells depending on what the water results come back to,” says Rapp.
But with no answer as to when the changes will be made, residents say all they can do is sit and wait.
“We’re going to stick with the bottled water. I mean, if it continues to be an issue, we’ll probably be looking to get out of here,” says Stephanie Newcomb, Mystic View Resident.
The Allegan County Health Department wants to remind those residents to not drink the water, cook with it or use it for baby formula, but that it is OK to bathe with. We reached out the owners of the Mystic View Apartments and they have not yet responded.