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Mt. Pleasant Investigates Mysterious, Potentially Toxic Pipes

A routine river check in Mount Pleasant lead to the discovery of five leaky pipes…pipes the City was not aware existed.

As they try to figure out the mystery behind their purpose…the city has found them to be leaking contaminated water into the Chippewa River.

“These weren’t on the map, says Mt. Pleasant Director of Public Works John Zang, “Why? I can’t tell you.”

There can be a lot of unknown buried from the past but Mt. Pleasant is now looking into five unknown pipes they have found leaking water into the Chippewa River. Initial tests have returned increased levels of ammonia, boron, PFOS and selenium.

“Now that we found these we’re going to investigate them and determine what they are,” says Zang, “What’s in them and so on.”

The pipes were found near a bend of the Chippewa River on the north end of town. The initial thought process was possibly an old landfill to the east was the source but it’s too early to confirm that.

“The pipe is near a landfill but I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion at this stage,” says Zang.

Right now they are submerged under the high water levels of the river so the next step is going to be using ground penetrating radar to find the pipes under the ground and follow them to see where they are headed where, it originates and then they can find the extent of what’s going on.

“As a city, we want to do as much as we can, as soon as we can,” says Zang.

The increased toxin levels in the drain water are the reason why this has become a serious investigation but are not believed to be dangerous.

“Probably not at these levels but until we know for sure that’s why we’re investigating,” says Zang, “That’s why we want to pursue this investigation all the way through.”

Once a source is found, the site can be cleaned up and officially resolved.

“Not the kind of thing that since we don’t know everything about it that we want to pursue and chase it to the end,” says Zang.