Ann Arbor: ‘No recreational limitations’ for activities on Huron River due to chemical spill

Kayakers on the Huron River at Gallup Park (Credit: Destination Ann Arbor)

ANN ARBOR – Officials with Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation said on Thursday that there are currently no restrictions to river activities including boat, tube rentals and youth camps due to a chemical spill in the Huron River in Wixom.

Tribar Manufacturing is responsible for the spill which released thousands of gallons of liquid containing 5% hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen to humans, into the waterway on July 30, according to officials.

Although roughly 85% of the city’s water supply comes from the Huron River, city officials said there is no immediate threat to Ann Arbor’s drinking water -- for now.

Map of Huron River from Wixom to Ann Arbor. (City of Ann Arbor)

They said in a statement on Wednesday that it could be weeks until the chromium plume reaches the city’s drinking water intakes.

“The city is increasing its monitoring in the Huron River so we are able to identify when and if the chromium plume reaches our intake,” reads the statement. “We are also working with EGLE to identify means to optimize our treatment for chromium removal should it become necessary.”

On Thursday, officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said nine water samples showed no detectable presence of the chemical. They added that testing will continue.

The City of Ann Arbor has launched a website dedicated to the spill, where it is sharing updates, background information and features FAQs on the topic.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.