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Flint Water Crisis Worsens, City Spills 2 Million Gallons of Sewage Into Flint River

On top of all that the city of Flint, Michigan’s residents have had to deal with over the past 5 years regarding city’s water problems, now they have two million gallons of raw sewage to contend with.

According to MLive, the city dumped about 2 million gallons of untreated sewage into the Flint River on August 18. This comes just months after officials warned the wastewater infrastructure was quickly approaching its “critical point.”

A report filed by the city with the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy stated that a “flash flood event” caused an overflow of the primary settling tanks at the city’s wastewater treatment plant which sent raw waste onto the ground and into a storm drain that discharges directly into the river.

Residents have been advised to stay away from the river to avoid any possible exposure to the potentially high levels of bacteria.

The city publicly announced the spill on Aug. 18, but has yet to explain how it will prevent a similar occurrence from happening in the future.

Prior to the spill, the city was seeking a loan of $34 million to fund the needed upgrades for the sewage system. That request has become even more urgent in light of this massive spill, which officials warned about months ago.

“We’re going to get to a point where we can’t treat our wastewater and sewage anymore,” Rob Bincsik, Director of the Department of Public Works, said at that time. “We won’t have to talk about drinking water anymore, because we’ll talk about nothing but the raw sewage that gets discharged into the Flint River.”

“The condition of infrastructure and needed capital investment at the wastewater treatment plant had nothing to do with the recent discharge into the Flint River,” he said in a statement to MLive. “The duration and intensity of the rain event caused an immediate and significant increase in flow, subsequently causing the primary tanks to overflow untreated sewage into the storm sewer and ultimately the river. Wastewater treatment plant staff did everything possible to minimize the discharge event but they are really at the mercy of Mother Nature in situations such as this.”

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