Grand River sewage leak capped; close to 2M gallons spilled

Crews have capped a leak that dumped nearly 2 million gallons of raw sewage into the Grand River.

GRAND HAVEN, MICH. - A sewage leak discovered by the Grand Haven/Spring Lake Sewer Authority on Sunday night has been repaired, officials say.

“We just capped it,” Grand Haven/Spring Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent Dave Krohn said Tuesday morning. “It is fixed.”

According to Krohn, divers went and investigated the problem on Monday afternoon, and made the underwater repairs.

“It was a small hole in a force main,” Krohn said. “(Repair divers) put a clamp on it.”

Sewage treatment plant officials became aware of the problem Sunday afternoon when a neighbor living near the river noticed something bubbling in the north side channel of the Grand River.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department was called, and one of the plant employees recognized that the likely problem was a leak in the wastewater force main that serves the communities north of the Grand River.

Plant officials say it’s believed that the force main released about 500,000 gallons each day since Friday, Feb. 24.

Krohn said it’s unknown what caused the hole to form in the force main, and noted that it is something they would be looking into.

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health was notified Monday by the sewer authority of the sewage release, and a no body contact advisory was issued from a point 1 mile east of the drawbridge and downstream to the Grand River inlet to Lake Michigan.

Officials said the advisory will remain in effect until repairs have been completed and tested.

The public should avoid body contact, particularly submergence of the head, with the river until the advisory is lifted. Officials also request that residents conserve water to reduce the amount of wastewater entering into the system.

A similar incident occurred in 1998 when a barge stabilization system hit the pipe, plant officials noted.

Grand Haven Tribune


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