GRAND HAVEN, MI – A hole in a wastewater pipe running under the Grand River caused nearly 2 million gallons of sewage to leak into the waterway that empties into Lake Michigan.
The repairs to the hole in the 45-year-old, heavy-duty ductile iron pipe were completed Tuesday morning, about a day after the repair process began. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health issued Monday a no body contact advisory for a section of the Grand River, including the channel that connects to Lake Michigan.
There’s no threat to the area’s drinking water despite drawing Lake Michigan water from intakes in the vicinity, according to the engineering firm hired to oversee the repairs to the wastewater force main.
“There’s no cause for concern to the drinking water,” said Jim Hegarty, a civil engineer with Grand Rapids-based Prein & Newhof. He pointed out that the drinking water plants are designed to and do treat the raw Lake Michigan water that enters the intakes.
The engineering firm began the process today, March 1 of debriefing the response to the sewage leak.
A report is expected to be completed within 30 days for the governmental boards for the three municipalities served by the force main under the Grand River – Spring Lake Township, village of Spring Lake and city of Ferrysburg. Those wastewater from those three communities is pumped under the Grand River to the wastewater treatment plant in Grand Haven.
The leak in the pipe was located in a section about 1,000 feet off the Spring Lake Township shore straight out from Cutler Street extended.
It’s too early to pinpoint a cause of the hole in the pipe and to provide an exact cost for the repairs.