Water Authority says tests at Detroit River collapse site meet standards

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Water samples conducted at the site of a southwest Detroit dock collapse at a riverfront storage site show no detectable contaminants, according to the Great Lakes Water Authority, which announced results from its first round of water quality testing.

Water authority officials said tests related to the Detroit Bulk Storage partial collapse did not detect metals such as uranium, thorium, mercury and lead.

Tests found several metals, such as aluminum, barium, boron and strontium but authority officials said those are naturally occurring in raw water.

"All levels detected for these metals are below the established regulatory guidelines for drinking water set by the U.S. Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) and the state of Michigan," a statement on the water authority's website said.

Heavy machinery moves tons of crushed stone around the Detroit, Michigan shoreline at Detroit Bulk Storage near Historic Fort Wayne in 2019.

Results of the water tests were made available at its website. Test results for radionuclides will be released as soon as they are available, officials said.

Earlier this month, an analysis of water samples by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy labs in Lansing after the spill from the Detroit Bulk Storage site found there were no adverse effects on the Detroit River.

The collapse occurred in November in part due to the weight of the aggregate stored 100 feet away from the waterfront by the storage site. The limestone aggregate had been piled 40-50 feet high along 300 feet of the waterfront, said Noel Frye of Detroit Bulk Storage. Typically, loads can be stored only 50 feet off the waterfront and no more than 50 feet high, Frye said.

The Great Lakes Water Authority believes the two intake sites several miles upstream and several miles downstream of the collapse are in no danger of contamination from the incident.