State to continue testing Huron River for hexavalent chromium in what will be ‘lengthy’ process

Health hotline available to answer questions from residents

WIXOM, Mich. – Investigators have widened their water sampling efforts downstream of a release of hexavalent chromium in the Huron River.

Hexavalent chromium is known to cause cancer and can have numerous other negative effects on human health if you make skin contact with it, inhale it or ingest it.

Michigan environmental officials sampled nine locations on Wednesday and expect to get those results back on Thursday.

They will develop a testing plan for the coming days and weeks. Investigators also met with the Tribar manufacturing facility on Wednesday to learn how the leak occurred.

Investigators want to learn more about the volume/amount of liquid containing 5% hexavalent chromium that was discharged into the sanitary sewer system over the weekend. The water was discharged from the wastewater treatment facility into Norton Creek, which flows into the Huron River system.

Results from first two tests taken Tuesday at the mouth of Norton Creek and on the Huron River did not detect the presence of hexavalent chromium.

Officials said that that is just the first two data points in what will be a long testing process and that two samples are not enough to draw conclusions about the pollutant. It’s expected to be a lengthy testing process.

For now, health officials are asking that all people and pets stay out of the Huron River between North Wixom Road in Oakland County and Kensington Road in Livingston County.

The recommendation can change or be expanded as more information becomes available.

Read more: Officials warn people not to swim, fish in Huron River due to cancer-causing chemical: What to know

Have questions about hexavalent chromium?

People who have questions about hexavalent chromium can call the MI Toxic Hotline at 800-648-6942.

It is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Extended hours will be offered this weekend (Aug. 6 and Aug 7) from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The state is expanding testing after a cancer-causing chemical was released into the Huron River. It came from a Wastewater Treatment Facility and went into Norton Creek. Right now, everyone is being asked to stay out of the river from Wixom Road in Oakland County to Kensington Road in Livingston County.

About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.