October 30, 2014

Whitney Township meets again with state departments

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WHITNEY TOWNSHIP — Representatives from the drain commission and the Department of Environmental Quality met with Whitney Township residents and board members March 18 to discuss E. coli problems with the Whitney Drain.

The grant that the township applied for through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative would allocate about $3,200 to $3,500 to take samples along the Whitney Drain.

The money would allow for about 200 samples to be taken at around $16 per sample. There will be three samples taken at each of the 13 sites, and the sites will be tested at five different times throughout a month period.

“This is a really good start,” said Charlie Bauer, of the Department of Environmental Quality.

Bauer said that the initial grant to do the sampling will help the county better identify which areas might be causing the increase in E. coli in the drain.

The location of the storm sewers along the drain has already been identified and will aide in isolating the areas from which they will take samples.

While the township waits to find out whether or not it will receive any GLRI grant money, Larry Davis, the Arenac County drain commissioner, said that he could ask for funding from the Inter-County Drain Commission. Receiving roughly $3,500 from the commission would allow Whitney Township to begin sampling the drain without waiting for GLRI funds.

“The worst case scenario is that we can’t find a source,” Bauer said.

However, the best case scenario would be that the water comes up perfectly clear during sampling, he said.

Bauer said they might know more about the GLRI grant awards by early April.

Davis said he will call an inter-county drain commission meeting sometime after April 10 to discuss the possibility of getting funds for the water samples along the Whitney Drain.

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