400,000 gallons of wastewater seeps into Lake Superior

Published: Mar. 27, 2018 at 12:19 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Roughly 400,000 gallons of wastewater from a lagoon in Grant Township made its way into Lake Superior earlier this month according to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Randy Conroy, the district geologist with the DEQ said it was around March 5th the township noticed the snow level at the lagoon had dropped and began investigating the situation.

It’s believed the partially treated water broke through the liner of one of two lagoons, seeped into the soil and then into the bedrock on the shoreline of Lake Superior.

The aerated lagoons are simple wastewater treatment systems, very similar to ponds with artificial aeration to promote the biological oxidation of wastewater. The water was not industrial and had a low toxicity.

There's no risk to the drinking supply for the nearby community due to the direction of the spill.

The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department was notified but waived any testing for bacteria of Lake Superior due to the limited usage of the area at this time of year.

“With the ice cover and the wastewater being diluted by Lake Superior; there is little threat to the public,” said Conroy.

According to Conroy the township will be replacing the liner, primary fill and secondary fill of the faulty lagoon and will be looking into replacements of the secondary lagoon as well.

DEQ is writing a violation notice for the unauthorized discharge and will be submitting the notice to the township.