Contaminated Sediments

Previous studies by The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Council, and the Annis Water Resources Institute of Grand Valley State University have shown contaminated sediments in Little Black Creek with likely migration into Mona Lake. An initial identification of the areas containing contaminated sediments was conducted by Grand Valley State University's Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) in the Preliminary Watershed Assessment for Mona Lake Watershed. Results of this study can be found at

Follow-up work was conducted in Little Black Creek by Dr. Rediske of AWRI to investigate sediment chemistry, toxicity, and ecological effects of the contaminated sediments. Additional work was also conducted by the MDEQ during the summer/fall 2005.  As a result of this work, the MDEQ is currently working with the US EPA to remove contaminated sediments from Little Black Creek in the portion between Peerless Plating and Sherman Boulevard.

Field inventory work conducted by the Mona Lake Watershed Council identified some potential sources of contamination including old refinery sites, old landfill sites, and unknown sources of questionable water inputs. As a result of the many "unknowns", we have posted warning signs in Johnny O. Harris Park, where children like to play and access to Little Black Creek is easy (See Below).

Contaminated... Marathon Oil Test Well

A test well near Marathon Oil on Walker Road; absorption sock in well is soaked with oil. This is located next to Barnes Drain.

Marathon Oil Test Well

Contaminated... Old Landfill

North of Broadway Ave., material lining the banks of Little Black Creek north of Broadway Avenue.
Old Landfill

Contaminated... Little Black Creek Storm Drain

This storm drain into Little Black Creek was flowing during drought conditions and the water had a foul odor.

Little Black Creek Storm Drain


Contaminated... Warning Signs

New warning signs posted along Little Black Creek in Johnny O. Harris Park. The drawings were developed as part of a coloring contest in King Elementary School warning folks to stay out of the creek due to contaminated sediments.

Warning Signs