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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 ?


Construction Feb 2016

An Update – with pictures.
Feb 22, 2016 observations for the USACE project in Warren Michigan along Red Run Drain between Dequindre Road and Ryan Road.

– Original article –

They brought heavy equipment in to the site via the Dequindre Gates, across from the Oakland County Dog Park.

As usual – click on pics to enlarge
















Time for BIG money $$$$$

The GLWA needs to make Metropolitan Detroit a shining example of Sewage Pollution improvement and Fresh Water Protection !!!!

New York Times –
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the country needs to spend __$384 billion__ by 2030 to continue providing clean drinking water to all Americans.

The American Water Works , puts the tab
__ at $1 trillion__
in new spending in the next 25 years.



Audits of DWSD Plant

Excerpts from article :

EPA will conduct “inspection audit” of Detroit water treatment plant  By SARAH CWIEK

In a statement issued Wednesday, the EPA confirmed plans to do a “performance inspection audit” next month.

An NPDES inspection manual describes a performance audit inspection as a “more resource-intensive review” of an NPDES permit-holder that “evaluates the permittee’s procedures for sample collection, flow measurement, chain-of-custody, laboratory analysis, data compilation, reporting, and other areas related to the self-monitoring program.”

Detroit’s wastewater treatment plant has a history of repeated NPDES violations.

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department was under federal court oversight from 1977-2013 for those violations.

DWSD no longer operates the drinking and wastewater treatment plants, though. The new, regional GLWA – Great Lakes Water Authority, which emerged from Detroit’s bankruptcy process, took over operations at the start of this year.

In October 2015, some current and former treatment plant employees said that retirements and layoffs, especially of technical staff over the past three years, threatened water quality and worker safety.

The EPA was not clear about what prompted the audit plans, however.

Representatives for the MDEQ, GLWA and DWSD did not immediately return requests for comment.


The Detroit Interceptors for Sewage


Interesting times for the GLWA,  the DWSD,  and the Oakland Macomb Interceptor system.

Highest Price for water ??

Anyone that gives it a moment of thought quickly realizes that Ski Resorts on a MOUNTAIN should be paying a massive premium to pump huge amounts of clean drinkable water thru a snow gun.

Nov 13, 2014
#120 – The number of snow guns at Pine Knob ski resort.
$7,500-$10,000  The 2014 cost to run snow guns per eight-hour shift overnight at the ski resort

Many nearby resorts exist and they should shoulder the burden of cost for water usage in the winter.


Sure we have huge amounts of fresh,  clean,  drinkable water available –  just don’t stick ordinary residents with the bills for others.

Hopefully the GLWA does a massive re-think on who uses the most water,  and charges accordingly,  instead of discounting,  or giving breaks towards them while residential taxpayers get stuck with infrastructure costs.

Industry needs to pay its fair share of StormWater and Sewer needs (roof,  parking lot,  etc runoff) in addition to clean,  processed,  drinkable tap water usage. Perhaps some need to re-evaluate a Grey water recycling solution.

“We are pleased that Governor Snyder sees the importance of Michgian’s winter travel and recreational activities,” says Steve Kershner, chairman of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association and Director of Snowsports at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire. “Winter travel accounts for nearly 1/3 of the $17.7 billion-a-year Michigan travel industry,” Kershner adds, noting that no matter where you live in the state, you are within a 2-hour drive of a ski area.

Massive Infrastructure Costs

A recently published article concerning Global Water Infrastructure in the World’s major cities speaks of TRILLIONS of dollars needed the next 15 years.


The USA better wise up rapidly and start funding Water Infrastructure in a big way within its major cities.
Section 10.2  (quote excerpt)

Cities face the challenges to protect their citizens against water-related disasters (droughts and floods), to guarantee water availability and water quality, as well as to renew and upgrade their infrastructure in response to climate, demographic and economic trends (OECD 2015).

The cost of urban infrastructure is staggering. The UNEP (2013) estimates that for the period 2005–2030 about US$ 41 trillion is needed to refurbish the old (in mainly developed country
cities) and build new (mainly in the developing country cities) urban infrastructures, where the cost of the water infrastructure (US$ 22.6 trillion) has been estimated at more than that for energy, roads, rail, air and seaports put together.

The wastewater infrastructure is responsible for the largest share of these 22.6 trillion. The report also warns that ‘Sooner or later, the money needed to modernise and expand the world’s urban infrastructure will have to be spent. The demand and need are too great to ignore. The solutions may be applied in a reactive, ad hoc, and ineffective fashion, as they have been in the past, and in that case the price tag will probably be higher than US$ 40 trillion.’

To support projected economic growth between now and 2030, McKinsey (2013) has estimated that the investments on global infrastructure need to increase by nearly 60 % from the US$ 36 trillion spent on infrastructure over the past 18 years to US$ 57 trillion over the next 18 years. This is approximately 3.5 % of anticipated global GDP.

These figures do not account for the cost of  addressing the large maintenance and renewal backlogs and infrastructure deficiencies in many economies (McKinsey 2013).

Water goals have big costs but also big returns. Conservative estimates of global investments in a post-2015 water for sustainable development and growth agenda have been estimated (UN
University 2013).

Between 1.8 and 2.5% of the annual global GDP is needed for  implementation of water-related sustainable development goals.

This would also generate a minimum US$ 3,108 billion in additional economic, environmental and social benefits, i.e. a net annual benefit of US$  734 billion.

Ecoli in Michigan waters

I recently attended a Webinar to learn more about Ecoli in Michigan waterways. The state needs to really crack down on Septic fields and Septic tank inspections.

I think funding needs go towards more DNA testing after a big rainstorm. Differentiate the Goose & Duck poop,  from the Dog & Cat poop,  both of which are NOT human poop. An Ecoli shutdown of a beach should be justified and trusted. Animals exist and folks need to adjust a bit. Pet owners need to pick up after pets,  period.
Farmers with animals need to protect the waterways from contamination. People should also protect themselves while at the beach or paddling a canoe/kayak.


View a recording at

Slides can be viewed

Understand that suburban development has led to highly “flashy”  conditions in local tributaries,  open drains,  and rivers. Water levels rise very quickly due to runoff from all the massive parking lots,  industrial parks,  residential roofing,  driveways and streets. It also flows quickly as storm runoff is channeled to lower elevations.

Combined Sewer Overflows and Sanitary Sewer Overflows are not going to dissappear from our lives,  until huge amounts of money $$$$ from federal or private entities occurs. I’ve seen improvements over 50 years  but I also think bandaids were put on situations needing actual true surgery.

Southeast Michigan has big problems.  The region needs to drop the racial overtones,  void the artificial County boundaries,  and focus on the task at hand – moving an enormous amount of StormWater –  without mixing human poop into the flow  !
Build infrastructure regardless of a few nimby complainers,  for the greater good, of the Fresh Water Great Lakes of Michigan.

Water rates and Elevation

If someone lived on a mountain,  they would pay a higher fee for drinking water,  since it has to be mechanically pumped/pushed up the elevation.  A similar scenario exists for those living a very far distance away from the treatment facility.


Most of the metropolitan suburbs of Detroit get their drinking water from low places like the Detroit River,  Lake St Clair,  and Lake Huron.


Places like Rochester Hills and Shelby are at a much higher elevation,  almost 900 feet.



To find elevation in your neighborhood,  use the Macomb County  FlexViewer

Once there you can customize layers for topography showing elevation contours.



GLWA active in January

I did a quick scan through the 44 pages of recent meeting minute notes released on the GLWA webpage.


January Meeting

A few items caught my interest. Distance and Elevation will play a role regarding water rates.



The IT infrastructure portion caught my eye. Sandy Jurek was Macomb County’s IT person for COMTEC. If my memory is intact,  the COMTEC system was delivered late, due a infrastructure problem regarding cables on telephone poles.  Hmmmmm…


Let us hope the IT infrastructure with SCADA is secure and correctly  monitors volume,  flow,  etc. to properly charge all customers,  wholesale,  retail,  industrial,  commercial and residential


Water rates going UP

Get ready from day one of 2016


The #GLWA will hike UP your water rate in Oakland and Macomb County

2015 in review

The Red Run Drain blog received 18,000 views in 2015.

Thank you for taking the time to look at the pictures, read the articles and share with others.

I welcome comments, questions, concerns, and if I get something completely wrong, tell me. I’ll gladly update and fix mistakes.

Hopefully 2016 has plenty to write about, question, and dwell upon.

Stormwater Discharge

The monetary consequence of discharging unprocessed or partially processed wastewater & stormwater into local rivers and lakes was recently  reviewed in a report :

Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority (LEEP).


– Items like property values, recreation, tourism, etc  were studied over several years involving HABS – harmful algae blooms.
Over 30 years, the value of lost benefits is estimated at more than $1.3 Billion dollars.


– The  International Joint Commission study used the Canadian and U.S. portions of western Lake Erie.
– “Overall, the total economic impact from the 2011 bloom was based on estimates of $16 million for diminished property values, $20 million for lost tourism revenue, $31 million for lost recreational opportunities, and $4 million for water treatment. For 2014, the estimate was slightly lower, at $65 million.”

  • The cummulative effect is staggering with yearly incidences and occurances taking a toll on society; and the environment.


No flushable wipes

From the pages of Time : Money
Consumer Products comes a
story concerning falsified claims of

Flushable Wipes that simply do not break down into little pieces.
They simply ARE NOT Flushable.

“The Federal Trade Commission just announced a settlement with moist toilet tissue producer Nice-Pak that prevents the company from continuing to claim its products are actually flushable, at least until it proves those claims through testing.”
– The products involved include Costco’s Kirkland Signature Moist Flushable Wipes,  CVS’s Flushable Cleansing Wipes,  Target’s Up & Up Flushable Moist Wipes, and  BJ’s Family & Toddler Moist Wipes.

There have been numerous stories lately regarding the convenient wet towlets clogging pipes, causing havoc, chaos and clogs. To put it simply, don’t flush them ! Throw them out in the regular trash. The claim is tooo good to be really true.

Franchise water leaks ?

Who knew a franchise existed for detecting water leaks in and around metropolitan Detroit Michigan ?

As GLWA goes into full effect
Jan 1, 2016 there will be a push for operational efficiency eliminating archaic leaky piping.






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