Water samples taken from contaminated Huron River expected Thursday

Posted at 6:15 AM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 06:20:22-04

(WXYZ) — The state is expected to get the results of 9 water samples taken from the Huron River Wednesday following last weekend's chemical spill.

State investigators say Tribar's Wixom facility released several thousand gallons of liquid containing hexavalent chromium, a cancer-causing compound, into a sewer that discharges into the Huron River.

RELATED: Cancer-causing hexavalent chromium spill affects Huron River businesses

The Huron River feeds into numerous bodies of water including Kent Lake.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy expanded their testing of the Huron River as they continue to probe the release of hexavalent chromium that occurred over the weekend.

RELATED: Wixom plant reportedly spills hexavalent chromium into portion of Huron River

RELATED: State expands Huron River testing in probe over chemical release

"Even if they go on and say it's only gonna be 2 or 3 weeks. The stigma of this will stay with people for a long time," Alan Heavner, President and CEO of Heavner Nature Connection said.

Heavner says his canoe rental business has taken a hit because of the closure.

"The source is coming out of the north drain which is just upstream from where we launch our canoes," he said.

The state has advised people to avoid contact with the Huron River following the chemical spill.

"At this time, we believe that this is only affecting us here at Kensington, and again, because we don't have any sampling data, we can't tell you for a fact that it is affecting us here at Kensington," Heavner said.

An investigation is underway right now by Egle to find out when the spill actually started on Saturday.

"We're trying to find out exactly how much came out of there," Hugh Mcdiarmid of Egle said. "Whether all of it went through the wastewater treatment plant or some of it may have been caught we're not sure yet, but that's ongoing."

7 Action News investigators found that this is not the first time that the state has taken action against Wixom based Tribar manufacturing. Just last fall, 7 investigators discovered documents showing that Tribar had an air quality violation related to metal treating tanks at the auto parts supplier.

RELATED: Tribar Manufacturing received past violations for PFAS, Air Quality concerns

In 2018, Egle launched an investigation into discharges of the cancer-causing chemical known as PFAS. Egle then issued violation notices to Tribar manufacturing.

"We are doing everything we can to protect public health and the environment from these sorts of disasters," Mcdiarmid said. "And I think that time will tell and the investigation will tell why this happened, what could have been done to prevent it more."

Two samples were taken on Tuesday at the mouth of Norton Creek and on the Huron River, and both of those results came back negative for the cancer-causing chemical. That being said, officials say those samples are not enough to come to any conclusions.