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Sanitary Sewer Overflow Caused by Roots

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Archived News Release: May 10, 2021 - ​Mid morning on Monday, May 10, 2021, City of Ann Arbor Public Works staff responded to notice of a sewage overflow in the University of Michigan Arboretum, in an open grassy area. Upon inspection, it was found that a root ball had caused a blockage of pipe which led to the discharge of an estimated 600 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 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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Contact Information

Jennifer Lawson
Water Quality Manager
734.794.6000 x 43735
[email protected]


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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