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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 2, 2019
Contact: Evan Pratt, Water Resources Commissioner
Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner Issues Advisory for
Portions of the North Branch of Big Swan Creek Due to Potential Sewage Discharges
ANN ARBOR Mich., May 1, 2019 – Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner (WCWRC), Evan Pratt is advising residents along the North Branch of Big Swan Creek Intercounty Drain to avoid contact with the creek, standing water from creek overflows and any contaminated ground.
This advisory is for residents living on or near the North Branch of Big Swan Creek Intercounty Drain (map attached) in southeast Ypsilanti Township and the Augusta Woods development in northeast Augusta Township. Pratt said, “Our office has been advised of a sewer main break in the vicinity of Martz and Rawsonville Roads that is believed to be flowing into the creek.” Due to the amount of rainfall this past week, the creek has been overwhelmed and we are aware of water out of the banks in areas near the creek at the Augusta Woods development. The area is shown on the attached map.
Residents (and their pets) are advised to avoid body contact with water in the creek and water that may have overflowed the creek banks for a period of two weeks from today, unless otherwise notified. Residents are further advised to avoid contact with the ground where creek overflows may have occurred. While the majority of water flowing in the creek is rainwater, the extent of sewage contamination is unknown at this time. The Water Resources Commissioner’s Office recommends taking the precaution of NOT having any contact with water in or overflowing from the creek.
The WCWRC office normally advises no contact with any stormwater drainage within 48 hours of any storm due to the high likelihood of contamination with bacteria or other pathogens from wildlife and pets.
“The Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority (YCUA) and their emergency contractors have been working diligently to repair the break and stop sewage flows since discovery on May 1, 2019, and subsequent notification of this office,” said Pratt. “We understand that YCUA anticipates multiple days of work before the fix is complete due to the extent of repairs required.”
If there is a concern on your property with water that has overflowed the banks, YCUA can be contacted at (734) 484-4600 to determine if any remediation is necessary.
Further rain is in the forecast for the evening of Thursday, May 2 into the morning of Friday May 3, which may cause further overflows of the North Branch of Big Swan Creek Intercounty Drain. Residents may wish to photograph any impacted areas outside the creek banks to assist with any follow up with YCUA.
The mission of the Office of the Water Resources Commissioner is to provide for the health, safety and welfare of Washtenaw County citizens and the protection of surface water and the environment and to promote the long term environmental and economic sustainability of Washtenaw County by providing storm water management, flood control, development review and water quality programs. Visit www.washtenaw.org/drains.
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