Low-level presence of hexavalent chromium detected in Hubbell Pond and Kent Lake

Posted at 4:41 PM, Aug 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-06 16:48:30-04

Saturday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) officials said three water samples out of 69 collected along 42 river miles this week have come back with detections of hexavalent chromium.

Two of the samples were detected in Milford’s Hubbell Pond and one in the middle of Kent Lake.

"The Kent Lake detection, completed by lab analysis late Friday – was 5 parts per billion (ppb) – just at the detectable limit of 5 ppb. The two Hubbell Pond detections were 11 and 9 parts per billion. All three were at or below values to protect aquatic life," MDHHS said.

MDHHS said the current no-contact recommendation for the Huron River system waters will continue to remain in place until further notice.

State officials said Friday that a low-level presence of hexavalent chromium was detected in Hubbell Pond in Milford.

According to a press release from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, two samples that were taken Thursday from the pond detected the toxic chemical, which had been released from Tribar Manufacturing in Wixom to the wastewater treatment facility last weekend.

The samples' levels were reportedly at and below the state's values to protect aquatic life, according to EGLE.

"The state’s chronic aquatic life value is 11 parts per billion (ppb) of hexavalent chromium – designed to protect organisms from long-term exposure harm. Its Acute Aquatic Life Value is 16 ppb, designed to protect from short-term exposures. The samples at Hubbell Pond registered 11 ppb at the surface, and 9 ppb near the bottom," the release states.

EGLE says it is focusing on testing waters upstream, downstream and within the pond Friday morning. They say more data is needed to better understand the location, movement and concentration of the contaminant.

According to EGLE, more than 30 samples have been taken from varying depths from near the point of release downstream to Barton Pond in Ann Arbor.

At this time, 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 is what they advise:

Officials also note that hexavalent chromium from this release is not likely to enter the groundwater.

Any residents with questions can call the MDHHS’ MI Toxic Hotline: 800-648-6942, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Extended hotline hours will be offered this weekend, Saturday, Aug. 6 and Sunday, Aug. 7, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.