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Water Testing Shows No Detection Of Hexavalent Chromium After Spill

(CBS DETROIT) - Testing done by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) over the weekend did not detect the presence of hexavalent chromium in the Huron River following the release of the chemical in the water system last week.

On Saturday, Aug. 6, EGLE crews tested water from 55 different locations.

They tested water from Barton Pond, where the city of Ann Arbor gets its drinking water, upstream to Wixom.

After taking 75 samples from these locations, crews found that none of them had detectable levels of either hexavalent chromium or total chromium.

Over the weekend of July 30, chemicals were released into the Huron River water system from Tribar Manufacturing in Wixom.

The chemical that was released is hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen that can cause negative effects to people through ingestion, skin contact, or inhalation.

Of the 144 water samples collected throughout 42 river miles since the release from Tribar, three came back with detections of hexavalent chromium.

Two of the detections were in Milford's Hubbell Pond and one was in the middle of Kent Lake.

The Kent Lake detection was 5 parts per billion (ppb) – just at the detectable limit of 5 ppb, while the Hubbell Pond detections were 11 and 9 parts per billion.

Officials say all three were at or below values to protect aquatic life.

The MDHHS is still recommending that residents and pets avoid contact with the Huron River water between North Wixom Road in Oakland County and Kensington Road in Livingston County. This includes Norton Creek downstream of the Wixom Wastewater Treatment Plant (Oakland County), Hubbell Pond (also known as Mill Pond in Oakland County) and Kent Lake (Oakland and Livingston counties).

This recommendation includes:

  • Don't swim in, wade in, play in or drink water directly from the Huron River.
  • Don't water your plants or lawn with Huron River water.
  • Don't eat fish caught in this section of the Huron River. A do not eat advisory for PFOS is already in effect.

Officials say water wells are unlikely to be contaminated by the hexavalent chromium if they are properly constructed.

In addition to this, they say that unpermitted driven sand points and submerged irrigation pumps installed by property owners along the Huron River could be affected and should never be used for drinking water.

EGLE officials say they are still investigating why the spill occurred and exactly how much of the chemical was released.

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