Toxic compound detected in Hubbell Pond after chemical leak from Tribar Manufacturing in Wixom

Levels were at, below values to protect aquatic life

State urges locals to avoid contact with Huron River due to contamination in 2 counties

MILFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Water samples taken from Hubbell Pond in Milford Township did detect a cancer-causing chemical, but they were at and below the values to protect aquatic life.

Hexavalent chromium was released into the Wixom Sewage Treatment Facility from Tribar Manufacturing last weekend. Environmental officials have been conducting tests to determine the severity of the situation.

The liquid contained 5% hexavalent chromium and was discharged to the sanitary sewer system and routed to the Wixom wastewater treatment facility. Water from the facility discharges to Norton Creek and flows into the Huron River system.

Hexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen that can cause a number of adverse health effects through ingestion, skin contact or inhalation.

Read more: What is hexavalent chromium? The toxic compound spilled into Huron River, found in I-696 green ooze

The samples taken at Hubbell Pond registered at 11 parts per billion at the surface and nine ppb near the bottom. The state’s chronic aquatic life value is 11 parts per billion of hexavalent chromium. Its Acute Aquatic Life Value is 16 ppb, designed to protect from short-term exposures.

The Hubbell Pond results were the only ones where officials detected hexavalent chromium so far. They conducted widespread sampling along the Huron River system, downstream from the release. More than 30 samples have been taken from varying depths from near the point of the release downstream to Barton Pond in Ann Arbor.

Investigators said more data is needed to completely understand the location, movement and concentration of the chemical.

Officials warn people not to swim, fish in Huron River

Officials say all people and pets should avoid contact with Huron River water between North Wixom Road in Oakland County and Kensington Road in Livingston County.

That includes Norton Creek downstream of the Wixom Wastewater Treatment Plant (Oakland County), Hubbell Pond (also known as Mill Pond in Oakland County) and Kent Lake (Oakland and Livingston counties).

Read: 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.


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.