Mar 06, 2020

Michigan City Reroutes Sewer that Leaks PFAS into Flint River

Buick City, Michigan is rerouting a sewer that’s been leaking PFAS into Flint River

sewer leak

The replacement and rerouting of more than 3,600 feet of underground storm sewer lines is occurring at the old Buick City site on Flint’s north side. 

This is an effort to stop per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contamination from continuing to spill into the Flint River, according to Michigan News.

The RACER Trust announced that a Warren company is expected to continue the job for the next four months.

Since the initial discovery of PFAS on the Buick City site, the chemicals have been found in groundwater, storm sewers and sanitary sewers, reported Michigan News

The work started is designed to close leaking, decades-old underground pipes and reconfigure the route for storm water to avoid parts of the property where testing has shown contamination.

RACER announced its intent to carry out the sewer work with new sewer lines with leak-proof sealed joints last August. During this time, nine of 13 storm sewer outfalls had registered readings of a combination of PFOA and PFOS.

According to RACER, some soil and groundwater impacted by PFAS will be managed under a plan approved by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). A portion of the groundwater will be treated and discharged to the city’s sanitary sewer. This comes at a fee, however.

The source of some PFAS contamination is currently unknown and RACER is working with EGLE on a plan designed to stop the discharges. 

The project is expected to take about four months to complete. None of the groundwater associated with the site is used for drinking water, according to Michigan News. Rather, Flint receives its drinking water from the Great Lakes Water Authority in Detroit.

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