Discolored, chemical-smelling creek concerns family

Posted at 5:44 PM, May 02, 2019

NORTON SHORES, Mich. — A family living along a creek in Norton Shores is voicing concerns over potential contamination. However, they said they’ve struggled finding help in fixing the problem.

"Ninety-nine percent of the time, even after a rain, this creek is usually crystal clear," David Jazdzyk said.

After 30 years of living next to Ruddiman Creek, Jazdzyk said he knows when something's out of the norm. Unfortunately, he said a 'murky' appearance has become a common occurrence.

"It started nine or 10 months ago, and I was alarmed the first time. Now it's happening once every six, seven days," he said.

He's documented it with photos and said sometimes it's solid green. Other times it's cloudy white.

"It's leeching from something upstream. It's definitely industry. It has to be industry. I work in industry," Jazdzyk said.

He believes the substance is 'cutting fluid' or fluids containing petroleum. His family's concern is, of course, for the environment. They said kids play in the creek. It eventually feeds into Muskegon Lake, and there's wildlife along the creek.

Joeley Jazdzyk, his daughter, said, "There's ducks down there. There's deer down there. All sorts of animals, there's hawks that come down there. There's all sorts of birds."

Her father said, "I took it to Norton Shores City Hall. They wanted nothing to do with it. They gave me a number for the state which I called the state number, but it was hit a bunch of numbers and it never went anywhere."

He said he also contacted the drain commissioner, Brenda Moore, who he said came out to the creek, thanked him for reporting the issue, and took the sample he collected. But he said he's since been told he'd have to use a certain, sterile container that the commissioner said she'd drop off to him.

He said he’s waited nearly three weeks for that container.

"My goal is for our government to find out where it is and stop it,"Jazdzyk said.

His daughter said, "That's disgusting. That's nature."

She added, "The environment's already going to crap. The world is already going to crap with all the pollution already. We don't need this. If it's something that could affect something so large, but it's something so small that we could fix. Why are we not fixing it?"

FOX 17 called and left a message with the drain commissioner. FOX 17 also called the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), formerly known as the DEQ, and received a number for the 'Pollution emergency Line'. We've given that number to the Jazdzyks and were told the family should hear back pretty quickly since they believe there's a pollutant in the water.