FLINT (WJRT) -
(08/20/14) - A power failure on Flint's west side Wednesday morning has led to nearly four million gallons of raw sewage being dumped into the Flint River.
The raw sewage spilled into the river for nearly nine hours.
Charles Bennett of the Michigan DEQ says the power went out at the pumping station about 5:20 a.m. When power was restored, the pumps failed to start up and it took city workers a few hours to get them running.
All that time, raw sewage was flowing into the river.
The pumps came back on at 2:15 p.m. and the flow of sewage stopped, but the DEQ says 3.75 million gallons of untreated sewage was dumped in the water.
Mark Valacak, of the Genesee County Health Department, says people downstream, such as in Flushing, should avoid contact with the river for the next two days.
The discharge is downstream from Flint's water intake and won't affect the city's water quality.
The health department says the sewage should be diluted to a safe level in a couple of days.