Breached Paw Paw dam to be tested weekly for contamination

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PAW PAW, Mich. (AP) — A lake in southwest Michigan will be tested weekly for contamination following a dam breach.

A 113-year-old damn near Briggs Pond and Maple Lake broke Oct. 15 because of heavy rain.

Previous tests of Briggs Pond found that its sediment is highly contaminated. Department of Environmental Quality officials say it’s unclear how much sediment was transported from the pond into the lake and what contaminants are present.

The department will take weekly water samples and analyze them for arsenic, water quality and total suspended solids.

Paw Paw’s Village Council approved a more than $225,000 contract with Lounsbury Excavating to rebuild the dam and construct an emergency spillway.

Village Manager Sarah Moyer-Cale says once the department approves the work permit, construction is expected to take about a month.

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