Archived News Release: June 11, 2018 - At approximately 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 10, 2018, the City of Ann Arbor was notified of a manhole in the University of Michigan Arboretum with water leaking from it. Upon further investigation, public works crews identified the problem as a sanitary sewer overflow. Public works crews immediately mobilized to unblock the sewer and clear debris from the sanitary sewer pipe. 3,000 feet of rope and an uninflated sewer plug were the cause of the blockage in the sewer line. The rope belongs to a contractor who was recently conducting sewer inspections and was lost. The source of the plug has yet to be determined.
An estimated 300,000 gallons of sewage discharged into Dow Prairie, an unknown portion ultimately then flowing to the Huron River. Areas of the Dow Prairie impacted are marked by signage and have been closed until cleanup efforts are completed.
River trips were immediately suspended for Sunday and Monday.
In accordance with regulatory protocols, City of Ann Arbor staff has notified the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The city has also notified the University of Michigan Arboretum staff.
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