Toxic chemical found in Hubbell Pond in Milford

Posted at 10:47 PM, Aug 05, 2022

MILFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Locals in Milford say at this time of year, Hubbell Pond is usually filled with canoes and kayaks. But now it's bare as investigators discover toxic chemicals.

This local water town is at a standstill after investigators find traces of the cancer-causing chemical hexavalent chromium in Hubbell Pond.

“It’s actually really disappointing,” said Gavin Smith, who now is saddened his swimming days will be cut short and his favorite summer spot is desolate.

“It’s sad seeing it just quite. No one on the beach playing, just nothing,” Smith said.

And it’s likely to remain that way for a while. Right now, state investigators are urging people to not play in, drink or even water their plants with water from Hubbell Pond. Two samples tested positive for low levels of the toxins after widespread sampling.

“When they tell you something bad is in there, it’s a little scary, especially when you had your kids in there,” Gavin's father Art Smith said.

The chemical spill stems from Tribar, an auto parts manufacturing company, which reported leaking 10,000 gallons of the toxin into water that runs through the Wixom sewage system.

Tribar is also responsible for the PFAS leak impacting this same body of water in 2018. Right now, Hubbell Pond is the only body of water testing positive for the chemical.

“It’s terrible and I don’t know how to stop it,” Art Smith said.

"Right now, we're just looking literally at all options and all legal theories avaiable to us and watching what happens," said Atleen Kaur, the attorney for the city of Ann Arbor.

On Friday, the city of Ann Arbor enlisted the help of their legal team to go after the company responsible.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy sent the following caution:

"Until further notice, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is recommending that people and pets avoid contact with the Huron River water between North Wixom Road in Oakland County and Kensington Road in Livingston County. This 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)."