Escanaba Sends 300,000 Gallons Of Wastewater Into Bay

The Escanaba Water Department says that it was forced to send 300-thousand gallons of partially treated wastewater into Little Bay deNoc on Sunday because of all of the rain that we’ve received within the past week.

The “effluent” was treated with a high concentration of chlorine to try to have it completely disinfected before it was discharged about one mile off-shore into the bay. City officials say they had no choice but to send this wastewater into the bay…otherwise, it would have backed up onto private property and caused damage within the city. High ground water levels are also a big reason for the decision. The city’s press release is posted below:

Due to several large rain events in the last week, the Escanaba Wastewater Department was forced to by-pass approximately 300,000 gallons of Primary Effluent to the outfall on Sunday June 18th.

The outfall and discharge point is located one mile off shore in Little Bay De Noc.

The partially treated effluent is equal to 6% of our flow yesterday, and has been dosed with high concentrations of Chlorine in an attempt to achieve complete disinfection before discharge.

This by-passing event was due to high amounts of rain water in the last week, high ground water, and was critical in order to avoid the sanitary sewer collection system from backing up. Had any large scale back-up within the collection system occurred; private property damage would have been un-avoidable.

Bypassing a small portion of a peak flow above the Wastewater Plant’s design capacity is also required to maintain an effective treatment process of the majority of the incoming flow.