“Avoid Contact” advisory issued after sewage discharge in Devil’s Lake

Testing underway to see whether lake will get the all clear by Memorial Day Weekend
Testing underway to see whether lake will get the all clear by Memorial Day Weekend
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 6:24 PM EDT
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MANITOU BEACH, Michigan (WTVG) - Days before the unofficial start to Summer, residents of Manitou Beach are preparing for the crowds.

“Oh, Memorial Weekend is a big deal,” said Sue Webber, owner of Sterling Market and Pizzeria. “Every house has lots of cars parked at it because there’s lots of people ... and lots of business for us and all of the businesses here at the lake.”

Word of an accidental sewage discharge on the North Side of Devil’s Lake has muddied the mood.

The Lenawee County Health Department posted to Facebook, “Lenawee County residents and visitors are advised to avoid physical contact with the body of water known as Devils Lake until further notice. This body of water was subject to discharge from the Rollin Woodstock Sanitary Drain Drainage District sewage collection and treatment system. The discharge originated in the area of 6190 US 223 and flowed into Devils Lake. This advisory does not apply to public or private drinking water supplies.”

In a statement, Lenawee County Drain Commissioner Jenny Escott writes, “The Rollin Woodstock Sanitary Drain Drainage District is currently in the middle of a very large project to upgrade and replace 18 lift stations in the Devils and Round Lake Area. One of the stations is currently being bypassed by two portable pumps. Due to an issue with the bypass pumping, a sewer main backed up and was leaking from around a manhole lid and into the adjacent lake. The leak has been eliminated and sample testing has begun in connection with standards set by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy through the Lenawee County Health Department. Please refer to the Lenawee Health Department website for further health information.”

13abc will provide updates on the results of the testing as it moves forward.

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