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Recent Rains Send Sewage To Grand, Red Cedar Rivers

dam on Grand River
Kevin Lavery
WKAR File Photo

Recent heavy rains have resulted in sewage overflows into the Grand and Red Cedar Rivers.

Storms in early October dumped an estimated 36-million gallons of sewage and stormwater into the rivers.

Lansing Public Service Director Andy Kilpatrick advises avoiding direct contact with river water for a few days after big storms. "That does not mean you can’t go out and boat in the river," Kilpatrick explains. "It just means you’re not going to want to swim in the river, or at any time ingest any of the water that’s in the river.”

Kilpatrick says that over the last year, there were 40 reported overflow events with an untreated volume of about 465-million gallons that flowed into the rivers.

Lansing is about halfway through a project to separate sewers and stormwater drains.

Kilpatrick says the nearly half-billion dollar Combined Sewer Overflow project has cut sewage overflow by more than half.

The timetable for completing the massive CSO project is 2035.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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