Mar 28, 2018

400,000 Gal of Wastewater Spills into Lake Superior

The wastewater was sourced from a lagoon in Grant Township

400,000 gal of wastewater has spilled into Lake Superior

400,000 gal of wastewater has spilled from a lagoon in Michigan’s Grant Township. The spill entered Lake Superior earlier this month, according to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

MDEQ recognized a decline in snow level at the lagoon as far back as March 5, 2018, and an investigation ensued, leading to the discovery of the spill. While no official conclusion has yet been made, officials believe the water, which was only partially treated, broke through the lagoon’s liner, entered the soil and then the bedrock of Lake Superior’s shoreline.

The subject lagoons utilize aeration processes in order to treat the water, and according to MDEQ officials, the water did not originate from industrial sources, so its toxicity was relatively low and poses no direct threat to the drinking water of surrounding communities.

The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department has decided not to run tests on any Lake Superior water due to its low level of usage at this point of the year. Meanwhile, MDEQ will replace the failed liner at the lagoon and will write a formal violation notice for the unauthorized discharge.