Traverse City News and Events

Untreated Sewage Released Into Boardman River

By Beth Milligan | May 28, 2020

Untreated sewage was accidentally released into the Boardman River Thursday afternoon during heavy rains and flash flooding, with health officials warning the public to avoid all contact with surface waters at several downtown beaches.

The accidental released occurred at 2pm from a sewer manhole near the intersection of North Union Street and Front Street. The sewage spill was the result of a pump failure at a pump station during the flooding. The Grand Traverse County Health Department has issued a no-body-contact advisory with surface waters in the following areas:

> The Boardman River from the pedestrian bridge near the Michigan Department of Natural Resources weir downstream to the mouth at West Grand Traverse Bay
> Private beachfront property east of the Boardman River to Bryant Park
> Clinch Park Beach
> Sunset Park Beach
> Bryant Park Beach
> Traverse City Senior Center Beach

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has been contacted and will be working with health department and Taverse City officials "to ensure proper corrections are made to the sanitary sewer system," according to the health department. The advisory will remain in effect until further notice. Once water testing results demonstrate that the affected waters meet EGLE standards for E.coli, the advisory will be lifted.

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