Beaches closed after treated sewage spilled into Boardman Lake

Wednesday night an equipment failure at the Traverse City Regional Sewage Treatment Facility led to sludge spilling into Boardman Lake, and caused several beaches to close Thursday.

Several beaches were closed Thursday, after an equipment failure at the Traverse City Regional Sewage Treatment Facility led to sludge spilling into Boardman Lake on Wednesday.

They originally estimated that 200 gallons of treated waste spilled into Boardman Lake, but after more investigation they found it to be much less.

About 42 hundred gallons of sludge spilled out from the plant after a pump failed and about 20 gallons made it into Boardman Lake.

â??For the size of the Boardman Lake and to see that we put 20 gallons of bio solids into it, it would be pretty dilute,â?? said OMI Project Manager Casey Rose. â??We are discharging 4.5 million gallons of treated water every day so even 20 gallons compared to that is very dilute.â??

But as a precaution, the north part of Boardman Lake, the lower part of Boardman River, and Clinch Park to Bryant Park were closed today.

â??The one day that we come here that I want to swim in your beautiful lake here we cannot,â?? said Nina Roedding of East Detroit. â??So it's a great disappointment but you know, this happens and you just move on and you go to plan B.â??

But it wasn't just swimmers who had to change their plans.

â??We've been waiting on good weather for forever and the most beautiful morning of the entire year was today and we're shutdown,â?? said The River Owner Michael Sutherland.

The River rents kayaks and had to turn many customers away due to the spill.

â??Our number one trip is from Hull Park to Clinch Park so that's exactly the area that was affected by the spill, so that's not happening today for us,â?? said Sutherland.

But Rose said the situation could have been a lot worst.

â??Luckily we had a quick response time,â?? said Rose. â??We were able to follow protocol and minimize risk to the public and the environment.â??

Technicians ran tests on the water in Boardman Lake and Boardman River Wednesday. The results take 24 hours, and will tell whether it is safe to swim.

The Grand Traverse County Health Department says that drinking water for the city is not affected by the spill because drinking water comes from East Grand Traverse Bay.

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