Resident concerned about sewage flowing into creek - WNEM TV 5

Resident concerned about sewage flowing into creek

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A Sterling resident is concerned about sewage bubbling into a local creek.

Jim Shaw caught the scene on video in his own backyard. He claims he has tried for weeks to get the city, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency involved, but to no avail.

Shaw said he is frustrated he cannot enjoy his backyard because of the stench and the germs associated with a spring of sewage flowing into it.

He posted a video on Facebook weeks ago, reaching out to the EPA, MDEQ and his own village president, but he is not getting the help he said the situation deserves.

TV5 did reach out to the MDEQ.

The district supervisor for the MDEQ's water resources division, Charlie Bauer, said the village of Sterling uses an array of wastewater “stabilization” lagoons to process wastewater through a natural process. In this case, the protective lining of a wastewater lagoon is damaged and is leaking.

Bauer said the leak has been occurring for several years and MDEQ has an “enforcement action” in progress.

Bauer also said the village is working on complying and had been permitted to release a certain amount of naturally processed wastewater into a nearby river each year and cannot exceed that permitted volume. Obviously, the system is not in compliance.

It is not clear when the mess could be cleaned up, but TV5 will continue to reach out.

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