Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

Michigan Line Spills 1M Gallons of Sewage


For nearly seven weeks, a broken sewer line under a northwest Michigan bay spilled 1.1 million gallons of raw sewage undetected. The line runs under a bridge where the Betsie River flows into Betsie Bay.

In a report to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Elberta Village officials say the leak was discovered on March 7, but it was estimated to be broken since January 19. Officials began replacing the line on March 12 and finished within a week.

The sewage line serves roughly 280 homes and businesses in the area. Officials say despite the size of the leak that they expect no severe repercussions. Water from Betsie Bay circulates into Lake Michigan; that, along with spring runoff, should easily flush the bay of excess nutrients. Official have also tested for E. coli and found that levels are within acceptable limits.

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