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City of Warren service

Years ago when my parents first purchased their house on Dawson,  in Warren, they thoroughly and completely TRUSTED all inspections, certifications, etc. were in order. They believed there was OVERSIGHT and supervision by City Building Engineers for the houses in the subdivision.

A view from 1961

The piping has been in the ground a long long time.  The City of Warren came DIRECT with personnel,  to the house for “”Water Issues””.

In fact,  I have direct proof,  of every single visit The Water Department of Warren Michigan made to our exact address

It shows the names of the City Workers and dates of service.

The City,  the County,  and The USA Army Corps of Engineers,  know exactly  – the elevation of every pipe for tap water,  toilet discharge,  and street drainage. They also know the water elevation level in the Red Run as a direct result of the GWK Retention Basin CSO events.

They know the real deal,  but do not make it easy for ordinary citizens to put the puzzle pieces together.

MIfloods dot Org

Local government recently received a harsh “awakening” to Flooding,  FEMA,  Water management. They were forced to “”deal-with-it””.

MiFloods.Org has been around for a long,  long,  time.  The City of Warren is part of the Organization.

The QUICK guide

Warren has been wet for decades. People have called City Operations,  attended City Council meetings,  etc.,  etc.  The “Catch-to-it-All”  – the COUNTIES are inter-linked,  inter-connected,  co-mingled for stormwater. It makes it tougher to point a finger at anyone in particular.

WHY would Warren,  an inland, landlocked,  NO BEACHES, No Lakes,  community,  be on a FEMA National flood Program since early 1970’s  ????   I’ll let that sink in a second or two or three.

WHERE is all the water coming from ?    Repeatedly,  year after year,  Warren floods,  yet the ClintonRiver is a good distance away.  Did another county FORCE its stormwater into Warren ??   Why yes it did.  There I said it,  in print,  on the internet.

It was a FEDERAL PROJECT to bring stormwater into Warren. Ramrodded,  forced down our throats,  without much of a fight.

Soooo when a smart ass engineer says they know nothing about flooding in various neighborhoods  :

A.)  They are lying to your face

B.)  They are Ignorant

C.)  They should have others check their homework,  calculations,  and reading comprehension skills for a few more years before signing off on anything near your home.

Oh,  and by the way,  it doesn’t take an engineer to know water from high elevations – flows to lower elevations, continually,  relentless, mercilessly,  until the HIGH elevation source is shut off. Otherwise,  it just happens all over again.

Find me a resident how likes being financially tortured by repeated flooding only to be told its their own damn fault by city officials.

Lets turn the torture game on its head by thoroughly infoming ALL real estate agents to avoid Warren. Educate them on FEMA failings, Engineering failures,  and Real World wet basements.  Put it on the internet,  social media,  for all to see. Drop those property assessments to scrap value,  ZERO tax income,  zero business startup, and affect government pocketbooks, elections,  and politicians careers.

Fix the flooding in people’s houses, step up,  take responsibility,  be ethical.  The flipside of the coin is a nasty ugly path.

Warren’s Water Wonderland

I grew up in Warren,  attended Beer Jr.High and C.S.Mott Highschool. No teacher ever hinted at the local geography,  and few mentioned the history of Warren,  Michigan.

It used to have quite a bit of water.

Water flowed across farmland and was a key part of General Motors coming to Warren.

Water flowed where Halmich Park now exists in The City of Warren. It is easy to see connection to Red Run.

Bear Creek is connected to the Red Run and may have had a connection to Conner Creek in Detroit via a field or marsh.

One picture shows Bear Creek along Mound Road by the USA Military property.

At some point in the 1960’s Bear Creek was enclosed,  went underground.

Now much of Bear Creek is enclosed,  lost to old maps and history.

History is important to modern day infrastructure,  as mother nature plays by her own set of rules regarding Thunderstorms.

Water will always attempt to find its own level,  often across large distances and uneven terrain.

Urban expansion “forced” change to natural water flow,  sometimes with unforeseen consequences to downstream communities.

Now in 2016, I urge various City Councils,  SEMCOG leaders, County officials to RE-examine the past choices regarding Clean Drinkable Water via the ClintonRiver and Lake St Clair. 

We are all connected,  so lets keep just Rain-in-the-Drain. The toilet sewers need true, complete,  Waste Water Treatment Plants.

The old CSO strategy has to come to an end.  Combined Sewer Overflows are ruining the Water Wonderland.


Neighborhood Sewer

The Dawson Drive neighborhood in Warren by 14 Mile and Ryan,  north of Red Run drain,  is having an extensive heavy construction project.

The sewer lines for toilet, laundry tub, bath water,  look like this.

Notice how Dawson has 15 inch diameter pipe,  other areas have 8 inch.

The toilet sewer flow goes East,  behind the Warren Community center,  and on to the Warren’s Waste Water Treatment Plant.

You can watch the entire system flow,  from Dawson to the WWTP,  via a YouTube video.

Toilet sewer flow from Dawson
The stormwater flow,  for rain water,  connects into Ryan Road.

Elevation of the neighborhood,  topography,  is around 620 ft above sea level.

The Ryan Road Red Run Bridge is only 620ft above sea level. When the Red Run fills up,  so does everything else,  aka the street catch basins.  Water finds its own level,  always.

Notice the pipe,  at the bottom,  down by the waterline – it is for rainwater off the streets of the Dawson Neighborhood.  When the Red Run is full,  so is this pipe.

Macomb hates trees ? 

I’m pretty confused here in Warren by 14 Mile and Ryan,  near the Red Run.  A few years ago,  I could swear the City of Warren PLANTED trees in my neighborhood.

Today,  ALL the 50 year old trees from when I was a kid are being taken down.


Macomb County urban planners PUSHED the planting of trees for a wide variety of reasons.

Now that Warren wants to do some renovation of the street and water main in neighborhood , the residents/taxpayers of 50 years ~~ ~ loose ~~~ the old growth trees,  leaving ugly stumps ?

It  “was”   really nice and quiet here

Now it’s all chainsaws,  wood chipper roar and heavy equipment boom,  crash,  scrape.


I don’t get it.  Plant trees for nice neighborhoods,  wait 20, 30, 40 years for that overhanging  “”green-canopy”” look,  feel,  ambiance.  Then complain about getting sued for trees.

Pick one Macomb – concrete jungles of lifeless gloom or Glorious Trees that buffer winds,  provide shade and create nice liveable neighborhoods.

I’m truly saddened by the fact all the trees are now gone July 11, 2016.  The concrete work in front of my house won’t start until Sept. or Oct.  according to Engineering Staff.

Oh yeah – my basement will probably still get wet,  along with my neighbors,  because that was NOT the focus of the reconstruction work.  I do not live in a floodzone according to FEMA.

FLOODING,  multiple,  repeated,  numerous occassions,  over decades,  is not on Warren’s agenda,  or Macomb County Drain Commissioners mind –  BUT planting trees sure seems to be a taxpayer debacle as well.

Maybe the USACE with their 800+ page reports and double rework of the bank stabilization can solve the backflow,  surcharge,  inflow,  infiltration,  hydrostatic pressurization of our basement drains due to a rising water table ?


USGS Water survey 1903

The real Warren Michigan,  with its interconnections via creeks,  streams,  rivers as it existed 100 years ago. 

The link is a bit odd via Imgur

USGS Topographical Map

This explains a tremendous amount about the Inter-Connectivity of the water tables among Macomb,  Oakland,  and Wayne Counties. 

Neighborhood Construction

Original Warren neighborhood built in early 1960’s by 14 Mile & Ryan Road in Macomb County will receive a Water Main Replacement with New Concrete. 

This neighborhood has seen flooded basements in the past, on multiple occassions,  over many years. 

Elevation of drains by Dawson and Ryan Road,  just north of Chicago Road,  in Warren,  Michigan. 

When the Red Run is FULL,  around 620ft above sea level,  it puts PRESSURE on the drains that feed it. 

Poo goes high tech

We live in a rapidly evolving world of technology and communications.

You might have seen,  read,  or heard about IoT – Internet of Things.  This is where sensors in a neighborhood detect occurances in real time,  communicate with computer systems,  and provide information used to strategically explore solutions.


There are serious explorations into these kinds of ideas occuring now.

Now will your local goverment actually be OPEN about all the information collected ?   Maybe.

I have written about some of this before,  occuring in Macomb and Oakland counties.
If someone is buying or selling a house,  the issue of flooding,  is a big concern.  People should know where problems have occurred, and are recurring.

–  Continual Sewer Overflow data should be open to public scrutiny. The public should know about Industrial/Commercial useage and contribution to neighborhood stormdrains. The GIS layers for stormdrains should be accessible on a public viewer,  just like other properties area. 

| #Showers, #thunderstorms on #4LiveRadar Sunday morning! | #weather #miwx #detwx | Su, 6/26/2016

Maybe Warren Michigan finally gets some rain.
The garden and lawns are extremely dry

Andrew Humphrey, CBM

from Instagram:

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Warren FUBAR scenario

Everyone that lived through the Flood of Aug 2014 realized drainage is a KEY issue.

Your house may NOW be jeopardized based on Marrocco’s actions in court.

The City of Warren physically must be connected to the MacombOakland Interceptor pipeline to avoid future catastrophes of flooded basements.


Taxes, pain and politics


You want a better environment with crystal clear streams,  creeks,  rivers,  lakes all around you ?

You WILL pay more taxes,  period.
Local,  state,  federal – all three.
There will be financial pain.

Numerous politicians must sacrifice themselves to vote for the greater good of everyone.  In effect,  they’ll decide to commit political suicide with zero chance of re-election.  Raise taxes all around for infrastructure,  everyone takes the hit,  all feel the pain.

There is no middle ground anymore,  no more little quick fixes. SouthEast Michigan has a StormWater problem of monumental proportions that can’t be kicked down the road any longer.

This looking back of “”oh we done good,  it’s better than ever before”””  is bullshit.  Instead of spending the BILLIONs of dollars,  a few hundred million dollars $ were spent with a “”fix””,  a work around,  an appeasement.

When will residents get serious – after their property values drop ?
Who wants a house that flooded a few times,  the house on a pea soup green canal,  or the house on a seawall too gunky to go for a swim  ?

What will it take…. seriously now !
Pitchforks and blazing torches to force out useless politicians who did nothing to protect your families ?   Old fashioned  Tar & Feathers with a stern “” Leave the town”” never to return  ?   Who looks at voting records and holds anyone accountable anymore………….

Bad engineering,  bad city planning,  bad foresight,  laziness,  etc.  can’t just be swept under the rug,  with a meek “Uh Sorry”.   It is OUR tax money,  there is no Free Federal Money.  It comes from somewhere,  there are consequences and  repercussions for squandering it.

Selfishness,  self-preservation,  for a wanna-be,  life long career politician isn’t exactly in synchronization with Raising Taxes,  Tearing up roads,  the accompanying sewers,  and having crystal clear stormwater discharge everywhere – is it   ??

It’s all about pain tolerance.
Who or what cracks,  bursts,  first ?

Twitter and The GLWA

I use TWITTER in addition to WordPress.  Take a look at past posts and follow me.  I encourage discussion,  comments,  engagement,  etc. 

Search results:

Macomb and Oakland have been joined via sewers for 50 years already.  Oakland County needs the ClintonRiver for sewage overflow.  Of course,  The Clinton flows through Macomb to Lake St Clair.

Water Pressure and Old Pipes

Many houses and subdivisions around Warren Michigan are about 50 years old.  The earth has settled,  shifted slightly,  and the underground rain water connections are no longer watertight.  They leak into the surrounding dirt.  Ordinarily,  it is no big deal.

A crisis can occur when the dirt is already quite saturated with rain water AND it continues to rain.  The ground water table begins to rise,  and it seeps into “other” pipes,  like the Sewer Connections.


The storm water in NorthWest Warren neighborhoods flows into the Red Run Drain (via drains at the BOTTOM of the open stormwater channel)



The Red Run Drain fills quickly,  rapidly,  as Oakland County also contributes stormwater flow. The water level may be 20 to 30ft deep in spots.


Water pressure at the bottom of a reservoir,  is equal at all points.


The pressure at inlet A = B = C = D regardless of the piping path.


The Red Run Drain has often filled to the top the last few years.  This PRESSURIZES the system of inlets from the Street drains.



Soooo,  lets say that street drain is about 30ft deep,  and full of water – as it enters Red Run.
It exerts a force of several POUNDS per SQUARE INCH,  and easily leaks thru any crack, loose fitting, coupling,  etc. 


The sump pumps cannot keep up and in fact add more water to the system,  in a vicious cycle,  – from the Storm Drains – to the sanitary(Sewer) drains,  pushing toilet stuff into a basement.

Instead of being at the BOTTOM of the channel,  these street drains would be better suited to the TOP,  under the access easement.
** You can see where someone tried to be “slick”, cobbling up the manhole,  a foot or two, with bricks,  to no effect.


Do you fill your bathtub from the TOP,  or from the bottom ?  A pool uses the pressure from the bottom, to circulate the water up to the top. 


There is a great reason most systems DO NOT add water to the bottom of a reservoir. The bottom has pressure !

City of Warren engineering staff has mentioned the crumbling streets of the NorthWest neighborhoods would get new concrete. The newer “edge drainage”  channel may keep the road bed drier than before – but it won’t solve any flooding issue for residents near the Ryan Road at Red Run Bridge vicinity.



Notice the large stormwater pipe at the bottom of the bridge,  gets COMPLETLY submerged every time the Red Run Drain fills near its banks.

There is a design fault causing grief for residents,  that cannot be explained away by – “Act of God”.  Humans built it,  and they are responsible,  for oversights,  miscalculations,  omissions,  and errors.

Most of the stormwater comes directly from OaklandCounty via the 12TownsDrain aka GWK Retention Basin – into Warren – via the Red Run Drain.





STOP House Bill 5282

This bill basically gives cities IMMUNITY from flooding lawsuits.  Politicians and Engineers must be held accountable for their actions.  They cannot be given a legal pass.

Your home values and property is impaired by repeated flooding events in Michigan.

Call,  write,  harass those that want to skate by with a slap on the fingers.  It is no longer acceptable to incur personal loss. Infrastructure Improvements are their responsibility.  Thats why they get a paycheck.  Force them to EARN it.

Michigan House Bill 5282

Contact your local rep to STOP 5282




Rain and Recreation

You might want to avoid Water Recreation directly after a large rainstorm.


“A number of studies, including this one from 2010, have found that emergency room visits for gastrointestinal distress increase after a heavy rain. These illnesses are believed to spike after a storm because rainwater washes pathogens into lakes and rivers used for recreation and drinking water. A 2015 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives goes a step further than earlier research by pointing to a common type of municipal sewage-treatment system, combined-sewer systems, as an important factor in these illnesses.”


The EPA considers
a major infrastructure problem.

None of this is new info.
Many current politicians fail to act out of fear for their career.  Infrastructure is costly and changes are painful. BUT it needs to happen,  and quickly.


IF people want to play at the Beach when the sun pops out,  we NEED to push politicians to act for wastewater  improvements. 
– Pick up the phone and raise hell.
Write your representatives,  and include pictures in the emails.
Vote out those that have failed.

The CSO/SSO battle

The USA with its EPA office estimates about 40,000 sewage overflows occur across the country
– every single year.

The SSO condition is one where untreated sewage (toilet, laundry, bath water,  etc) is discharged into the environment. It is often the result of a WasteWater disposal system having an overflow, spill, release, discharge, or diversion of untreated or partially treated WasteWater.  The factors creating this condition come from inflow of excessive stormwater into sewer lines during heavy rainfall, malfunctions of equipment, human operator error at WasteWater treatment plant facilities.

They are NOT ever 100% pure feces – they are ALWAYS mixed with a HUGE amount of water.

Do you flush with pure piss ?  NO you don’t    !!!!  The toilet flushes Pure Drinking Water from its tank.

Do you do laundry with water,  of course you do.  Same with the dishwasher,  your kids bath and your shower  ?

The   “”sewage””  is always a majority of Drinking Water mixed with a tiny portion of feces and piss.

IF and WHEN an extremely hard rain causes leakage,  inflow,  infiltration, – from the RAIN drainage system – into the  “”sewage””” drain system,  it further DILUTES the feces and piss.

A person claiming a 100%  pure raw sewage spill – is lying to you.
It is more like primarily 90% water and 10% fecal matter and piss.

Is it still nasty, smelly, and something you want to avoid,  YES   !!!!   The drain systems should be separated – in all cities – in all counties – to protect the natural fresh water supply around us.
Stricter,  tighter,  more punitive measures should be in place to FORCE communities into compliance of a ZERO occurrence policy for Combined Sewer Overflows.

It is simply not okay to spray a bit of sodium hypochlorite onto some minimally screened sewage. The effectiveness of chlorine is highly dependent on the chlorine concentration, time of exposure, and the pH of the water. It is tricky,  complicated,  and involves constant monitoring.

The only real true solution is 100% seperation of the sewer systems in all neighboring communities – along with true, hard core, sewage treatment plants,  releasing “clean” water back into the environment.

Continuous improvement,  NOT status quo,  apathy,  complacency,
“”we met compliance standards””.

Beat the standard,  Crush it, Jump over the bar,  and expect more from local government.


Upgraded Warren Sewers ?


People need to understand what a Sewer Interceptor pipe actually is.
They can be 12ft in Diameter,  and are buried 40 – 80 ft underground (deep).

A while back (January 2013)  reporter Norb Franz wrote  :

“METCO engineers recommended the connection of the Warren waste water system to the Oakland Macomb Interceptor.“


Interceptor Project with Detroit

“Two overflow chambers would
be constructed below ground, and flow that exceeds the capacity of
the city’s 428 miles of sanitary sewers would discharge into a
12-foot-9 diameter section of the Interceptor.”


“The giant sewer stretches 21 miles, from the area of 23 Mile and
Dequindre roads, south through Sterling Heights and then to the
ITC corridor before sewage reaches a pumping station near
Eight Mile and Hoover roads in Detroit.”


“Any sewage that pours into the Oakland Macomb Interceptor would be measured and eventually flow into the Detroit Water and
Sewerage Department system where it would be treated.”

“The city would be billed for that treatment process, which includes disinfectant. The project would require new relief sewers along 13 Mile, 12 Mile, 10 Mile and Interstate 696.”

This Interceptor Project rehabilitation costs about $ 160 MILLION,  not exactly chump change.

The reason for all the expenditure is quite clear to anyone that suffered flooding recently.

The details regarding the Interceptor Project Rehabilitation can be viewed in this report

Ask a LOT of questions about how YOUR neighborhood and house is hooked up to the sewers.  Perhaps you want an Insurance Rider specifically for Flood Incidents.

I know exactly what path my poop takes to Warren’s Waste Water Treatment Plant. Do you know what your house is connected towards ?


How well does any realtor understand the local sewer system ?  Are they knowledgeable about flooding via the basement piping – versus – water coming into the basement windows,  off the street  ?  Insurance does NOT automatically cover both scenarios. !


Is the house you want to buy in a FEMA special zone,  and what exactly does that mean  ?


Macomb County has the 2 very large cities of Warren and Sterling Heights – both involve the Red Run drainage system.  Has the Drain Commissioner and his office provided you the info you wanted over the years  ?


Most of my research info comes from Oakland County !   Yes the stormwater in the Red Run actually comes from across Dequindre (over there), by OaklandMall,  by MadisonHeights,  Troy,  Clawson,  etc.



The Regional Bill

Everyone fully understands their water and sewage bill and how it was calculated,  right ?  Sure you do,  your local political rep can explain it to you,  I’m sure.

Let’s start with the fact that Macomb and Oakland are LINKED together,  underground.

The wonderful COSDS and OMID go right through Warren,  Michigan.  Much of everything was/is estimated (truly,  really,  no joke)  since it wasn’t completely accurately measured. Ask your local political rep,  they’re all up to date on SCADA,  what was missed,  what was estimated.  It’s all very fair,  they wouldn’t lie to you,  would they ?  It’s transparent and easy to understand,  eh ? How do you feel about paying infrastructure taxes ?

Swim from Warren to Mt Clemens in the Clinton River and then out to Lake St Clair,  sure why not. The artificial yearly stocked fish do. It’s clean,  ask the fish. You paid for the fish to be put in there, go swim with them.









What happens UPstream ?

In a modern age of Regionalism with the new GLWA versus the me,  me,  me of the independent counties of the past,  what happens UPstream  ?

Is news,  data,  info shared freely among ALL the residents of the REGION ?  Surely if some project at a higher elevation had impact on those at lower elevations,  they would know,  regardless of the imaginary county border lines ?


Is there a new found focus on updating development requirements to include a priority on drainage mitigation  ?

Perhaps some  “stormwater stewardship”  resolutions to prevent even more “”rain-in-the-drain””   ? 

The band-aid fixes of the past were only a minor stop gap measure,  and kicked the can down the road for a while.  Time to grab the bull,  slaughter it,  and remove it from the fine china shop. People downstream are getting tired of repeatedly playing cleanup.  The bullshit needs to end.

Apathy and Numbness



Thích Quảng Đức
(1897 – 11 June 1963)
was a Buddhist monk.

“Over-saturation of images and narratives of violence have resulted in a collective numbness.”

What truly works as an change agent in 2016+  ?

When one burns with passion
it is extremely different than to
be consumed by rage.

Fire has a vulgar beauty.
It overpowers and destroys.

Today leverage exists online.
Those that have burning desires to bring attention to a cause are the new change agents.

To force attention back onto a stage, evoking pity, horror and terror – that is a trick indeed !

Isn’t that worth living for  ?

Those that live in Metropolitan Detroit are just now beginning to realize how our local society is absolutely,  surely,  and positively – contaminating our Great Lakes with sewage overflows AFTER heavy rainfalls.

No picture I can put in this article will force any action from anyone.

Only when you taste it,  smell it,  touch it,  swim in it,  consume it,  will you act.

When it become personal, then the fire burns to seek out those responsible.


It is time for change,
light the match !

Illuminate the problems,  let people discuss REGIONAL solutions without idiotic borders like 8 Mile or Dequindre Road.  The drinking water issue involves intake pipes in the Great Lakes,  and the sewage issue contaminates those exact waters.

If you expect little,
you’ll get exactly that,  not much.

Vote away those that can’t evolve.
Force change for many,  not a few.
Fire it all up,  get involved.

Sewer cleanups again

The team appeared again today at Dawson and Ryan in Warren, Michigan,  this time blocking traffic on Ryan Road about 10:30am – 11:30am.

They revved up that Vactor rig and it could be heard all the way down the street. 

Hopefully it cleaned out a mess of stuff,  since it made my toilets burp gurgle and pop.



There has been a LOT of debris from the streets crumbling, asphalt patches getting torn by frost, and Consumers Energy tearing up front lawns for natural gas pipe replacements.

DWSD improving operations

The City of Detroit took a lot of flack over water shutoffs.  There were freeloaders,  billing errors,  and numerous problems,  but it is getting turned around.

DWSD is taking action against commercial accounts and business owners now.

Bryan Peckinpaugh is quoted :


“A lot of our cost has to do with when our collection rates are low due to unpaid balances of water bills, that balance turns into bad debt and then gets transferred to the rates for the following year,” said Peckinpaugh. “So as we improve these business practices and reduce the number of delinquent accounts and improve our collection rates, that actually helps rates. And we’ve seen the impact already.”


Every drop counts,  from every entity that uses tap water, flushes a toilet,  and has stormwater runoff. A large bill for sewage flow from an industrial or commercial account should NOT get special treatment.  The square footage associated with a large roof or parking lot puts a massive amount of  “rain in the drain”.  Pay the fair share for the service of tap water and drainage away from the entity.

Detroit needed to do this a while ago,  and it is great to see they are turning the corner,  moving forward.


Pontiac WWTP and Clinton

I think a tremendous amount of  “flow”  could be restored to the Clinton River by simply cleaning up the immense Woody Debris between Sylvan Lake and Crystal Lake (South Blvd by Pontiac Municipal Golf Course).
Oakland County and Pontiac are now spending millions on retrofitting their WWTP.

I lived on Crystal Lake, kayaked it often,  explored every tributary. I bushwacking solo thru intense underbrush back under Telegraph by the Trailer Park.  A 2 bedroom, 2 bath,  with large community pool,  overlooking the lake, on South Blvd,  next to a public golf course,  with quick easy access to Sylvan,  Orchard,  Cass Lakes, at Pontiac real estate prices ($700 a month). A very quiet spot as soon as the sun fell, insulated by Crystal Lake and the Golf Course.  I worked down the street for General Motors – North American Operations – life was good. I kayaked all over Oakland County, just about 12 months a year. Yep,  full dry suit,  pogies,  neoprene boots, spare paddle,  often solo,  all alone.


Well,  that was quite a few years ago, GM pulled out,  Pontiac flopped hard, and no new  development really took off.
– Then Oakland County figured the Waste Water Treatment Plant could take in waste,  for profit  $$$. (click to enlarge)


Do you think the Clinton River will be cleaner,  more flow,  better than before,  because of a WWTP ?
Oakland County has massive overflows now, into the Clinton River already,  combined sewer overflows (CSO) and sanitary sewer overflows (SSO).

Click to enlarge


I don’t think anyone will be drinking the pristine crystal clear waters between Pontiac and Yates Cider Mill anytime soon.  Might need some Mirazyme enzymatic cleaner on that wet suit,  spray top,  waders,  etc. after a paddle most rainy days. Cleaning up the river,  in the upstream part,  would have had more “bang for the buck” ,  improving the Clinton River,  generating more flow,  flushing out the standing stagnant water of the eddies (kayak term) downstream.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if the Pontiac Waste Water Plant can handle everything good ol’ Mother Nature throws at it. A few hiccups are expected of course. We’ve had some quick,  intense,  torrential rainstorms,  the last few years. As everyone knows,  the water flows out to MtClemens in Macomb County. Hope they like the increased flow on the Clinton.



Satellite photo just a few days ago of Lake St. Clair – the water is not beautiful blue – its mixed with Sewage Output – via the Clinton River in March 2016.


Thanks to all that read,  share,  click on items and view articles


Tap Water and Sewage Treatment are getting increased attention by residents,  curious about how the systems work,  which underground pipes exist in their neighborhoods,  why some neighborhoods flood, etc., etc., etc.

Lets hope government officials and administrations focus on transparency,  providing real in depth info to residents, and open access to GIS data regarding stormwater runoff flow.

SOCWA and the GLWA

Oakland County has SOCWA,  the Southern Oakland County Water Authority



So these communities created a Water Authority to assist them in acting as a larger entity,  gaining bargaining power,  etc.

Why didn’t any of the cities in Macomb County band together to make an “” authority “” ?   It seems odd to now have multiple entities considering themselves “”the water authority” for one side of Dequindre Road and yet none exist on the other side of Dequindre ?

Why not truly just have one Regional Authority for Metro Detroit,  or are some people more “” special”” or “” unique “”  geographically when it comes to drinking water ?

USA Federal involvement

The large majority of water infrastructure is not really from the Federal Government

“””innovations in water efficiency, quality, and reliability must come increasingly from state, local, and private leaders, as the federal government funds less than 1 percent of the $61 billion spent on water infrastructure annually. “”””

Except from report :


The system in Detroit is quite small in comparison to others in the USA



Composition of the North Oakland County Water Authority (NOCWA):

City of AuburnHill,  Ronald J. Melchert, Chairperson,  Jeffery D. Herczeg, Alternate

Charter Township of Orion,  C. William Ireland, Vice Chairperson,  William Basigkow, Alternate

Pontiac (OCWRC),  Jody Caldwell, Secretary,  Carrie Ricker Cox, Alternate

City of Rochester Hills, Tracey Balint, Board Member,  Paul Davis, Alternate

City of Rochester Hills, Fiduciary

CLICK to enlarge and view




Sewer jetting 2016

Crews were out today March 17, 2016 around noon 12:00 on Dawson Drive in Warren,  Michigan looking down manholes in neighbors front lawns.


They did work back in 2012 on the intersection of Ryan Road  & Dawson Drive :

City engineers mentioned replacing the deteriorating concrete slabs in the street with fresh concrete this spring. In addition,  Edge Drains were to be put in,  keeping the road bed drier,  and prolonging its life.

Since houses shake with picture frames rattling on the wall,  from Ryan Road Red Run Bridge traffic – – one can only imagine what happens to the underground  clay porcelain or concrete drain piping and connections.  I doubt much aligns properly after 50 years.

Consumers Energy crews dug up about 50 front yards last week and this week,  in the Dawson neighborhood,  modifying the natural gas lines. Somehow,  they were NOT deep enough,  interfering with the new concrete street construction project with Edge Drainage.

IF the state and county,   have engineering standards on the books – HOW the hell,  do “”some”” houses have the natural gas lines at the correct depth and 50 random houses do not   ?   The entire subdivision was built at roughly the same time in mid 1960’s.

Odd – but hey,  it is Warren Michigan afterall.  Those well intentioned Edge Drains will not keep basements from flooding,  they only keep the concrete dry,  go figure !  The original concrete slabs lasted 50 years without them.  The neighborhood streets built in the 1960’s are scheduled for replacement now, in 2016.

Water loss, leaks, etc.

Water problems were recently discussed in a December 2015 conference in Atlanta,  Georgia
The  North American Water Loss Conference  (NAWL)  openly acknowled some barriers.

Lets hope GLWA is on top of their game,  charging Corporate &  Residential customers accurately. Inbound clean drinking water,  and,  outbound sewage, along with proper fees for stormwater release from roofs, parking lots, and the entire property as a whole,  need to be included in the billing process.

NRW –  non revenue waterloss – is not exactly a popular topic for utilities   !!

Listed below are excerpts :

We have a historical tradition of ignoring water loss in North America. The assumption has always been that our modern utilities are “system tight” and have no need of further detailed analysis. In fact, most utilities have largely fabricated numbers in the past on their unaccounted for water percentages, and they have a history of sticking to those numbers.

Distribution system managers are now embarrassed to admit that their prior numbers were actually wrong. This is a political as well as an HR problem. Admitting the true state of the water utility system is a negative message to a water utility board, as well as a HR performance problem for distribution system managers. No one wants to now come clean — for fear of reprisals.

Employee performance appraisals don’t currently encourage seeking better accuracy in water loss reporting.  There are no incentives for distribution system managers to now work hard on NRW. Upper utility managers need to encourage and even reward this brave behavior. Adopting water loss policies within the utility would help this tremendously.

General Managers and Board Members assume that the NRW solutions are too costly and unaffordable, and therefore better evaluation of NRW is pointless. Water sales revenues are down in most utilities because of declines in per capita consumption, and there is no easy discretionary money anymore. There is a fear on the part of many finance directors that the NRW solutions will be extremely costly (new meters, new pipes) and thus unaffordable. So why go look for NRW and let Pandora out of the box?

There is fear of letting the ratepayers know the truth. As many utilities are facing drought and asking their consumers to reduce their water use, they are reluctant to now admit that their leakage might be excessive. It is a utility messaging problem to its own customers. If leakage was really so serious, the beleaguered consumer might legitimately ask, why didn’t the utility do this FIRST

Lack of dedicated utility funding for NRW is a perceived barrier to progress. The irony is that NRW reduction actions don’t have to be funded out of stressed operating budgets where funds may be already tight; they can be funded out of capital- improvement- programs (capex) or performance based loans. The payback is excellent:  money saved by recovering and selling lost water more than pays for the cost of its recovery.

There is little perceived connection of NRW management to overall sustainability/climate change resiliency goals that the utility may have. Nothing makes a utility system more resilient than controlling its wanton leakage. Being in control of all of its assets enables a better response when water shortages occur due to climate chance and other factors. Being sustainable means managing water resources responsibly, and controlling NRW should be part of that needed response but so far is not.

There is a little government regulation of water loss in most states. Where state policies do exist, they are based on the antiquated “unaccounted for water” percentages, which are not often accurate (see point #1) and can mask the true impact of leakage in different sized water systems. Managing NRW should be a matter of government and regulatory concern. Bond rating agencies are now starting to look at NRW as a way to measure utility system efficiency, but so far government policies and guidance are mostly nonexistent.

A true Business Case analysis of NRW is not a prevalent practice nor even perceived as a necessary undertaking. Thus, the benefits of reducing leakage in a utility system are not even examined. Clear payback on NRW reduction investment is not analyzed, which is an antiquated way of managing a business, let alone a precious natural resource.

The value of water is taken for granted, both by the utility system managers and the consumers that they serve. The “value” of water is not what the utility might have paid back in 1910 when they acquired the water supply, it is the marginal cost of acquiring new water; recovering leaks then becomes the cheapest source of new supply. And when a customer is willing to pay 10,000 times more for water in a bottle versus from the tap, we clearly have a problem with the customer not valuing the incredible investment in drinking water that they now enjoy for very little money. Until we change this fundamental perception problem at both the utility and customer levels, NRW management will not reach the priority that it should.

More info :

Fire at DWSD incinerator

Pictures say more than words
Friday morning,  downtown Detroit


As I posted on Twitter regarding prior articles I wrote on Biomass aka Sewer Sludge :

The President of the Union blamed the fire on the Administration & Management,  not the workers…

Do you have complete confidence in DWSD operations and staff at the incinerator ?



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