Sewage Authority works to figure out what caused plant malfunction

Sewage in the Grand River

GRAND HAVEN, MICH. - It's a messy problem on the lakeshore, sewage in the Grand River. 830,000 gallons of sewage was released into the Grand River not completely processed. 

County Health officials had to issue a no body contact advisory in the Grand River for the second time this year. Back in February, a line under the Grand River leaked 2 million gallons of raw sewage. But those with the Sewage Authority tell us this time the issue was much different. 

"The very last stage is where we use UV ultraviolet light for disinfection and the power to that had failed," David Krohn the sewage plant Superintendent said.  "So that last step was not completed." 

The light system that's supposed to pass through the water before it drains into the Grand River didn't turn on, sending more than 800 thousand gallons of sewage into the river.

The Ottawa County Department of Health put out a no-body contact advisory for people using the Grand River. A concept some thought, was for the birds.

"We're going to be in our kayaks so I'm not really concerned about getting in and going swimming in it. So I'm not really worried about it,"  Kim Matthyssen said as she put her kayak into the Grand River Thursday afternoon. 

As the advisory remains, Krohn hopes to get to the bottom of how this malfunctioned, as soon as possible.

"We are looking at everything. We're looking at all of our procedures, working with our manufacturer of the equipment and just looking at everything," he said. "We're investigating. We're going to see what we can do better obviously."

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health says they are waiting on some final testing results but say the advisory should be lifted before the weekend. 

© 2017 WZZM-TV


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