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Sanitary Sewer Overflow Notification

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May 9, 2019 - ​At approximately 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, City of Ann Arbor Public Works staff were notified of a leaking city-owned sanitary sewer manhole within the University of Michigan Arboretum. Public works staff immediately removed gravel that had caused the blockage in the 8-inch pipe. An estimated 1,800 gallons of untreated sewage was surcharged from a sanitary sewer manhole into a grassy open space in the Arboretum. 

In partnership with University of Michigan, all cleanup activities were completed within 24 hours of the incident. The affected ground nearby was cordoned off and limed, to neutralize any bacteria that may remain on the surface. 

After an investigation, it was discovered that University of Michigan grounds maintenance activities had damaged the manhole structure, causing an opening for gravel to enter the sanitary sewer, thus causing the blockage. 

In accordance with regulatory protocols, City of Ann Arbor staff has notified the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

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Contact Information

Jennifer Lawson
Water Quality Manager
734.794.6000 ext. 43735
jlawson@a2gov.org


Ann Arbor has 119,000 residents, spans 28.9 square miles and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit. To keep up with City of Ann Arbor information, subscribe for email updates, follow us on Twitter or become a city fan on Facebook. The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.

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