Almost 75,000 pounds of pollution in the Red Cedar River is ‘unhealthy’ to residents

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 5:34 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A milestone has almost been reached in a $35 million anti-pollution project. The bulk of the Montgomery drain project should be done by the end of summer, beginning of Fall.

The project is estimated to reduce the pollution anywhere between 94 and 96 percent.

“What we’ve done is we’ve rebuilt the drain to have more capacity within it and we built more storage which it didn’t have any storage at all,” said Ingham County Drain Commissioner, Patrick Lindemann. “It’s enough storage to hold back two inches of water over the whole water shed so that’s a vast improvement than what it was.”

Reducing the water level by two inches also helps reduce the pollution. Lindemann told News 10 they will have to interrupt the water flow to do so.

“Interrupt the flow and add oxygen by creating waterfalls, we’re going to allow the water to intermingle with plant life and other vegetation, aquatic and land life, that will take care about 60 percent of the pollution,” Lindemann said.

They are also building ponds, so sediment will go into those ponds, which they will clean out periodically.

“It’s going to increase the quality of life for three counties,” Lindemann said. “It’s going to be a lot cleaner because of this, this is the most pollution going into that river out of any other discharge that I’m in charge of, (and) I’m in charge of 236 different discharges along the Red Cedar River in Ingham county alone.”

However, it will also cost more money for taxpayers in Lansing township and the city of Lansing. They will have to pay a small fee on their winter tax bill in order to help cover the cost of the project.

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