The public health advisory for Grand Traverse County has been lifted today.
E. coli levels in the Boardman River have now returned to a safe level for full body contact with the water.
After heavy rains caused 54,000 gallons of sewage to leak from a manhole cover into the Boardman River last Thursday, several beaches and locations along the Boardman River were closed. All of those locations are open and safe for use again.
Sunset Beach and the Boardman River boat launch are among the last of the previously closed locations to reopen today.
The event seems to be the result of a programming issue which led to the delayed activation of one pump, causing sewage to back up and spill out into the river. But director of municipal utilities, Arthur Krueger, says the public should not have to worry about another spill next time Traverse City receives heavy rain.
“We’ve already taken steps to mitigate another situation as best as we can,” he said. “We have an emergency pump on site that’s already hooked up and available if the pump site becomes overwhelmed again.”
The emergency pump was installed that Thursday night.
There is no evidence that any fish or wildlife were harmed by the spill.
The Grand Traverse County Health Department reminds citizens to stay out of the water immediately after heavy rain events to reduce risk of E.coli exposure.