What's in the water? Neighbors concerned after mystery substance flows into Livingston County lake

Posted at 5:04 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-23 13:50:10-04

April 23 Update to article below: Results of lab testing show no concerning levels of E. coli in several samples taken from Limekiln Lake, according to a spokesperson from the Livingston County Health Department. The official said the substance is likely a natural occurrence of the lake bed being stirred up by motion.

Chris Scarchilli lives on Limekiln Lake in Green Oak Township where there is something unusual in the water. Scarchilli was so concerned he contacted township officials.

"This is horrible. This is emotionally horrible. Like, it's beyond complaining. You're ruining lives, you're ruining nature. You're not just dumping in feces into a little hole. You have polluted an entire lake and entire creek ... ecological systems," said Scarchilli.

Scarchilli fears this is raw sewage that someone is dumping into the water somewhere. Some of the water feeding into Limekiln Lake is from a stream that goes through some wooded areas. There is a small walkway about 600 feet before the creek opens up into the lake and you can see more of an accumulation of the mystery substance.

We talked to homeowners on the other side of Limekiln Lake where there are no obvious signs of the substance — at least not yet. One woman's son spotted some while fishing on the far side of the lake.

"He wasn't sure what it was. I don't think he thought much of it, but he said it looked like it was just sediment or something in the water," said Debbie Rasegan.

Pat Mindling added, "I'd sure like to know where it came from."

This afternoon, an inspector with the Livingston County Health Department collected samples of the substance, and a spokesperson for the health department says they're investigating and should have the results in a few days. At the same time, a township official speculates it could be algae.

"I know that sometimes with high water things can happen and you don't even know it's happened. So, I'd like for someone to find out what is the source and how did it happen," said Mindling.

For now, Scarchilli is not letting his children near the water.

"How do we clean it up? And who do we go to from here? But first, it has to stop because it's still coming down," he said.