Water authority: Some metals not detected after Detroit River aggregate spill

Water authority: Some metals not detected after Detroit River aggregate spill
January 2, 2020 The Associated Press
Photo by noaa.gov

DETROIT (AP) — Initial water quality tests following the spill of limestone construction aggregate into the Detroit River did not turn up uranium, thorium, mercury or lead, according to an agency that supplies water services to Detroit and dozens of other communities in southeastern Michigan.

Results of a first round of testing from the Nov. 26 collapse at Detroit Bulk Storage detected aluminum, barium, boron and strontium, but they occur naturally in the area’s raw water, the Great Lakes Water Authority said in a release.

All levels detected for those metals were below the established regulatory guidelines for drinking water set by the U.S. Environmental Protect Agency and the state of Michigan, the agency added.

Detroit Bulk Storage stores and provides material for road construction, according to its website.

A dock at the site collapsed, discharging an unknown amount of crushed limestone into the river, along with asphalt and contaminated soils. The state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy has said testing determined that contaminant levels in the water were not detectable or well below quality standards.

The site formerly was occupied by the Revere Copper and Brass Corp., which produced uranium materials in the 1940s and 1950s. That company was a subcontractor for the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb during World War II, according to U.S. Department of Energy documents.

The water authority has two raw water intakes in the river. One is several miles upstream of the site. The second is several miles downstream, but on the Canadian side of the Detroit River and not in the direct flow stream of the river where the collapse occurred, the water authority said.

More stories about the Detroit River

State orders cleanup of aggregate spill into Detroit River

Michigan officials investigating aggregate spill in Detroit River

No excessive radiation at Detroit River aggregate spill site


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