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Sanitary Sewer Overflow Caused by Roots

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Archived News Release: April 2, 2021 - Late morning on Thursday, April 1, 2021, City of Ann Arbor Public Works staff responded to a notification of a sewage overflow near Nichols Drive in the University of Michigan Arboretum. Upon inspection, it was found that a root ball had caused the discharge of an estimated 500 gallons to the ground surface. No sewage reached any watercourse or storm sewer. 

The affected area was covered with lime to neutralize any bacteria, as well as being cordoned off with tape. In addition, signs were placed that denote the affected area and the reason why access is prohibited.

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

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Media Contact Information

Jennifer Lawson
Water Quality Manager
734.794.6000, ext. 43735
[email protected]


Ann Arbor has 123,851 residents, spans 28.97 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, and follow the city on Twitter and Facebook. The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.