Small spill into Grand River in Portland contained

Portland, Grand River, spill
A boom soaks up a small chemical spill in the Grand River in Portland. (Nov. 6, 2016)


PORTLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Emergency responders on Sunday contained a small chemical spill into the Grand River in Portland.

Around 2:30 p.m., crews were called to the area near the intersection of E. Grand River Avenue and Maple Street downtown on a report of a discolored sheen in river.

Authorities say only about a gallon of chemicals made into the river. Crews put a boom into the water to soak up the substance.

Portland, Grand River, spill
A boom soaks up a small chemical spill in the Grand River in Portland. (Nov. 6, 2016)

“This product stayed on top of the water. Some products go below, some stay above. This stayed on top which makes it a lot easier for us to contain it. The (boom) sock goes around that. The sock’s made of absorbent material so what it will do is it will absorb the product and within the next day or two the product will be gone,” Portland Fire Chief John Baker said.

Authorities say there is no threat to the river or public.

LookingGrand Cafe & Bakery
The LookingGrand Cafe & Bakery in Portland. (Nov. 6, 2016)

Authorities say the chemicals came from the nearby LookingGrand Cafe & Bakery, where the owner has been doing some roof work in the past few months. The owner cleaned paint brushes using some kind of chemical in buckets, which he then poured down the roof drain, not realizing it would go straight to the river.

It’s not yet known exactly what kind of chemicals were involved, but the fire chief said he believes they were petroleum-based.

Portland, Grand River, spill
Portland emergency respondesr at the scene of a small spill in the Grand River. (Nov. 6, 2016)

The health department took a sample of the chemicals for testing.

It took crews only about an hour to contain the spill. The Portland fire and police chiefs said they were happy with the quick response to the small spill, which they say shows they are prepared for a larger incident.