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For Immediate Release
ANN ARBOR, Mich., Aug. 30, 2013 — On Thursday late afternoon, Aug. 29, 2013, a sewer odor and some gray pooled water in the Nichols Arboretum was reported to the City of Ann Arbor.  Upon immediate investigation, it was determined that a sanitary sewer was clogged, and discharging grey water to the ground surface, flowing overland, ultimately entering the Huron River.
At approximately 5:45 p.m., Ann Arbor field crews began jetting the line from the downstream manhole from the flow. Within a few minutes, a blockage was relieved, and the water stopped flowing to the surface. Tree roots have been identified as the cause, as the line is quite shallow, and traverses woods.
The city has applied a surface application of lime to kill any remaining bacteria. This lime product appears as a white, powdery substance.
Because the sewage reached the Huron River, the City of Arbor took the immediate precaution of closing canoe livery trips in the vicinity, from Argo to Gallup, on Thursday and through Friday. Any body contact is not recommended for at least 24 hours after a known release of raw sewage to waterways.
The City of Ann Arbor has completed testing and will evaluate water quality samples over the next 24 hours for presence of harmful bacteria in the Huron River. The determination whether to resume canoe livery operations between Argo and Geddes Dam will be made at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, based upon water sampling results.
In accordance with regulatory protocols, the City of Ann Arbor contacted the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to inform them of this incident. Field staff is commended for immediate reaction and resolution of the incident.
We thank you for your patience as we work to resolve this issue.
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