The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Environment, Great Lakes and Energy are urging residents to avoid contact with the Huron River in Oakland and Livingston Counties.
According to a news release, hexavalent chromium has been released from a Wixom wastewater treatment plant that came from Tribar Manufacturing in Wixom and has been discharged into the Huron River water system.
Officials say that hexavalent chromium is a carcinogen that can cause many different health effects if inhaled, ingested or made contact with the skin. This is the same substance that was identified as the “green ooze” at the Electro Plating Services building in Madison Heights.
“This is a significant release into a large, much-loved waterway,” wrote EGLE Director Liesl Clark in a news release. “Our teams are in the field now assessing the situation. We will stay on the job as long as it takes to ensure residents are safe and impacts to the ecosystem are minimized.”
The state recommends that people and their pets avoid making contact with the Huron River between North Wixom Road in Oakland County ad Kensington Road in Livingston County. Recommend precautions also apply to Norton Creek downstream of the Wixom Wastewater Treatment Plant in Oakland County, Hubbell Pond in Oakland County and Kent Lake in Oakland and Livingston counties.
“This recommendation is being made to help protect the health and safety of families who live, work and play in the Huron River in the affected area,” state MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “As we gather additional information through sampling, this recommendation may change or be expanded.”
At this time, there is no immediate threat to drinking water for those living in the area. According to officials, EGLE is taking water samples from multiple areas and working with health officials to assess the contamination.
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