The Ingham County Health Department has dropped a no contact order it issued on June 21 for the Sycamore Creek watershed at and north of Mason, Mich.
Water samples collected through the department’s weekly monitoring program show that E. coli levels on June 24 are comparable to, or in many cases lower than, levels detected on June 17, before the City of Mason released wastewater into Rayner Drain.
“The water samples indicate that the wastewater has dissipated in the natural current,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “E. coli levels have returned to, or near, baseline levels.”
The no contact order was originally issued following an intentional release of wastewater into Rayner Drain, which flows into Sycamore Creek. The wastewater release was necessary to prevent additional sewage backups and ponding in low-lying areas within Mason. The city stopped its partial wastewater bypass on Saturday.
The no contact order affected Rayner Creek and Sycamore Creek in and north of Mason. Parts of the Red Cedar River and the Grand River, downstream from Sycamore Creek, were also included in the no contact order.
The health department samples 21 sites along Sycamore Creek, the Red Cedar River and the Grand River every Monday morning from May through September. Results are available on Tuesdays at noon. Weekly sampling is canceled if rainfall exceeds 0.5 inch in the 48 hours prior to the sampling.