Detroit Bulk Storage Spill Site Tests Show Contaminant Levels OK

Detroit, MI - Water sample tests taken near the site of the aggregate spill into the Detroit River have been completed and results show that contaminant levels were not detectable or well below water quality standards.

Expedited water samples analyzed by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s lab in Lansing found that the water quality around the Detroit Bulk Storage spill site do not show an adverse effect from the shoreline collapse.

Three water samples were taken: 2,540 feet upstream from the Detroit Bulk Storage site, directly in front of the spill area, and 1,040 feet downstream.

All test results showed no detectable levels of PCBs, uranium, metals, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, and several other industrial pollutants. Suspended solids and barium were detected, but at levels well below water quality standards.

On Friday, EGLE staff took radiological readings at more than 1,000 locations on the Detroit Bulk Storage site and found levels that were at or below normal levels that are naturally occurring. Background radiation levels farthest from the river were at 4 microroentgen per hour (uR/hr). Testing closer to the water, including tests from inside the crevasses opened by the sediment collapse, ranged between 3 and 5 Ur/hr. Naturally-occurring radiation levels in Michigan are typically between 5 and 8 (uR/hr).

The Great Lakes Water Authority and the City of Wyandotte – which have drinking water intakes several miles downstream – are conducting independent water tests at their intakes.

To stay up to date on other EGLE news, follow us at Michigan.gov/MIEnvironment or @MichiganEGLE on Twitter.