Officials estimate that 4,000 to 6,000 gallons of diluted raw sewage spilled into Lake Columbia after a transmission line broke last Saturday.
Keith Kotsch of the Village of Brooklyn Department of Public Works said his officials responded to a sewer leak at 10:40 a.m. at the corner of Hewitt Road and Boyce Drive in Columbia Township. Upon arrival, sewerage was discovered to be coming out of the ground from a 16-inch transmission force main owned by Columbia Township. The Village of Brooklyn is contracted by Columbia Township to perform all operations and maintenance of the sewer system.
Kotsch said it was discovered that a tapping saddle for one of the sewer connections had broken at the 16-inch main, causing the leak. The leak was contained by approximately 11:50 a.m. until additional equipment could be mobilized to make the necessary repairs.
M&K Jetting and Televising of Jackson were brought in to clean up the spilled sewerage prior to, during and upon completion of the repairs. Lester Brothers from Leoni Township was called in to assist the Village of Brooklyn to make the necessary repairs.
The Department of Environmental Quality and the Jackson County Health Department have been notified. It is estimated that 4 to 6 thousand gallons of diluted raw sewage made it into Lake Columbia before the leak was contained. Water samples have been taken at the point of discharge, upstream and downstream on Lake Columbia to be tested for E. coli. The results are expected to be available by Wednesday, September 26
and will be reported to the Department of Environmental Quality and the Jackson County Health Department.
While discussing the matter with the village council Monday night, Kotsch said that if the numbers of E. coli warrant, residents will be warned not to use the lake “until Mother Nature takes its course.”
Kotsch, who lives on the lake, said that there were not many people on the lake over the weekend, but said some were in the lake pulling docks out.
He also stressed that it is “diluted raw sewage.” While it does contain human waste, it has been diluted with showers, washing machines, and other water usages.
“I am sure the test will come back negative,” he said.