Apr 07, 2020

Storm Sewer Rerouting in Michigan Paused Due to COVID-19

Rerouting of storm sewer at Buick City, Michigan paused due to COVID-19 (coronavirus)

storm water

Work to replace and reroute over 3,600 feet of underground storm sewer lines through RACER Trust’s Buick City property in Flint, Michigan has been halted indefinitely.

This is in response to Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order to cease nonessential business as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues. 

According to the city, storm sewers remain operational at full capacity.

The work began the first week of March and was paused Mar. 24. Work will resume as soon as possible upon the direction of the State, reported East Village Magazine. 

The work to clean up and redevelop the former Buick City property and other properties across Michigan is still a priority, but as a result of the pandemic, the city is taking efforts to keep all staff and support personnel healthy, while continuing to provide essential services. 

“We are following all applicable governmental and health agency guidance and taking precautions to help keep our staff, consultants and community safe, including working remotely,” said RACER. “RACER is continuing to carry out its other environmental obligations regarding Buick City and elsewhere during the COVID-19 crisis. This includes preparation of remedial action plans, maintenance and operation of essential environmental systems, and review and evaluation of environmental data.”

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were discovered on the Buick City site, and since, the chemicals have been found in groundwater, storm sewers and sanitary sewers, reported Booth Newspapers. 

The work is designed to close leaking and old underground pipes, reconfiguring the route for storm water. This will help avoid parts of the property where testing has revealed PFAS contamination.

RACER announced its intent to carry out the sewer work August 2019, including adding some new sewer lines with leak-proof sealed joints.

At the time, nine of 13 storm sewer outfalls had registered readings of a combination of PFOA and PFOS, according to East Village Magazine. 

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