Downed tree causes sewage spill

September 2, 2014

tree sewage spillBy Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

SHELBY — A downed tree from high winds caused a sewage spill at the village’s Industrial Park Drive lift station that leaked untreated sewage into Piper Creek Monday.

Officials are testing the spill’s environmental impact on the creek today, said Village Administrator Aaron Desentz. The spill has no impact on village residents’ water or sewer services, Desentz said.

“We have notified the Health Department and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality of the spill,” said Desentz in a prepared statement this morning. “They are working to assess the next steps to be taken in addressing the spill.”

“At 1:45 p.m. on Sept. 1, 2014, one of the Village DPW workers found a downed tree from the high wind activity that Shelby experienced that afternoon. This downed tree took out the power line that supplies our industrial lift station with power, as well as landed on the backup generator. The power line that supplies electricity to the site also houses the telemetry system that notifies our DPW of any system failure. The antenna was smashed by the tree. For reasons unknown, the generator failed to operate. I was called to the scene immediately,” Desentz said.

“Consumers was called in and could not supply a crew for another hour,” the village administratortree sewage spill 2 continued. “In that time, I spoke to Fire Chief Jack White and Police Chief Robert Wilson, all of whom advised that we not send anyone into the area. After Consumers was able to cut the power to the site, the DPW crew was able to restore power via the backup generator. Consumers and the DPW then cleared the tree and Consumers put in a new power pole and line. We had an electrician come out to begin work on restoring the damaged electrical components of the system. We will have a specialist in to look at the telemetry system as well as the generator on Wednesday.”

Desentz said the big question is “why didn’t the generator come on?” The tree, which he said was a “live, healthy tree” approximately 50 feet tall that fell on the generator “came off at the top.”  Residents did not lose power Monday as a result of the incident, he added.

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