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City of Grand Rapids to help connect water to 200 Cascade Charter Township homes

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Cascade Township could get a little over $7 million from a federal water bill approved by the U.S. House last week.

That could connect more than 200 homes to Grand Rapids' city water.

Levels of PFAS higher than the state standard have been detected in dozens of private township wells near the airport.

The state previously committed funds to connect about 240 homes to city water.

Benjamin Swayze is Manager for Cascade Charter Township. He says many residents were already familiar with the PFAS problem because of contamination in Rockford, north of the township. "I think there was some real concern in the neighborhood about what was in peoples drinking wells and how it might affect their health," he says.

The PFAS in Cascade Township is linked to firefighting foam used at the Grand Rapids airport.

Tracy Samilton covers the auto beat for Michigan Radio. She has worked for the station for 12 years, and started out as an intern before becoming a part-time and, later, a full-time reporter. Tracy's reports on the auto industry can frequently be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as on Michigan Radio. She considers her coverage of the landmark lawsuit against the University of Michigan for its use of affirmative action a highlight of her reporting career.