Commercial-News, Penny Saver, & Sturgis Sentinel

No-contact advisory issued for St. Joseph River

By Robert Tomlinson
News Director

THREE RIVERS — The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency (BHSJ) is warning residents to stay out of the St. Joseph River for the time being.

A no-contact advisory was issued Monday by the health department for the St. Joseph River between Broadway Street through at least the village of Constantine.

The cause of the advisory was due to a force main break near the Broadway Street bridge that occurred Friday, July 7 at approximately 9:30 p.m. BHSJ officials say approximately 500,000 gallons of untreated wastewater from the Three Rivers Wastewater Treatment Plant was discharged into the river.

The advisory includes any type of body contact with the river for recreational activities such as tubing, kayaking, swimming, canoeing or fishing. It is also advised to keep animals out of the water.

Officials say the advisory is in effect until water samples from the river have been analyzed and demonstrate that coliform levels are back at normally expected amounts.

Anyone having contact with the river after 9:30 p.m. Friday is advised by BHSJ to take a shower and wash any clothing that also was in the river, as numerous infectious diseases are associated with contact with fecal coliform. Pets should also be bathed if they were in contact with the water.

As of this afternoon, the Three Rivers Wastewater Treatment Plant has not returned calls seeking comment on the situation.

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 or

2 Replies to “No-contact advisory issued for St. Joseph River

  1. The spill occurred Friday night at 9:30! Why wasn’t the advisory issued until Monday! There were MANY MANY people on the river all weekend including us. Totally unacceptable. Who didn’t report it, didn’t share info. No one is answering the phones at the sewage disposal plant or the Health Department or the mayors office!

  2. Just WHY wasn’t this made public sooner ? With the weather being so hot lately, water attracts people, I’m sure there were a lot of people experiencing the river this weekend. Absolutely unacceptable for not issuing a warning earlier !

Leave a Reply