The Jackson County Health Department has lifted the public health advisory for Clark Lake.  On Thursday, a sewage spill of 4000 gallons drained into the lake.  For that reason, the Health Department visited the lake and issued the advisory. (see text of original advisory below)

Keith Kotsch, of the Brooklyn DPW took water samples in four different locations yesterday.  All but the first location were considered downstream from the spill.  The expectation is that water moves east propelled by the wind and is further drawn in that direction by the dam.  Those samples were sent to the lab and came back today.  Don Hayduk, director of environment health for the county, said the results were excellent.

To put the test results into perspective, a measurement of 200 colony forming units or CFU’s raises concern.  The CFU’s are the method to detect coliform and fecal matter.  Clark Lake’s samples revealed 0 to 4 CFU’s, which can be considered background on any given day.  Here are the CFU’s at the test locations.  The samples were taken 15 to 25 feet off shore from docks:

  • Just west of the spill site (upstream)-  2
  • Keast Drive (downstream)- 2
  • Franklin Court (among the lily pads)- 4
  • 100 feet north of the dam at Ocean Beach – 0

Don Hayduk commented that there could still be a pocket tucked among weedy areas close to shore, but the testing showed no sign of it.  He says there is no problem for wading, swimming, and boating at Clark Lake.  He also commented that people representing the different entities performed their roles well during this trying period.  That sentiment was echoed by several others close to the situation.  The Brooklyn DPW and its contractors, Columbia Township officials, DEQ, and Jackson County Health Department representatives would be among those who were involved.

The spill took place Thursday morning about 9:40 when a Consumers Energy subcontractor ruptured a sewer line that runs parallel to an east-west section of Q Lane.  A drain conveyed raw slurry to the lake.  The sewage blackened the water, distinctly marking its location compared to clear water. As part of the clean up Thursday, the DPW flushed the drain and collected the run off. 

About 10 am yesterday, this website arranged for an inspection by raft.  Starting at ground zero, the path taken was easterly along the south shore, through the coves, along Ocean Beach, the County Park, and then diagonally across the lake back to the south side.  No plume could be found, nor did there appear to be evidence along the shore (although the observers were a dock-length away from the shore).    

Test of the original advisory, which has now been taken down: