Skip to content

MetroDetroit water 2016

An article in Bond Buyer written by Yvette Shields on November 24, 2015 had interesting conclusions regarding water and sewer in Metropolitan Detroit Michigan.

The GLWA and DWSD are very close to finalizing paperwork as 2016 rolls around. Who pays what is layed out in the article.


It also hinted at Detroit still facing a possible Chapter 9 scenario in the future.


Public GIS data

People should be able to view public infrastructure data like neighborhood sewer systems and drinking water systems. GIS viewers let the public see data already accumulated by government information systems.

The recent concerns over tap water in Flint along with numerous flooding scenarios around Warren have people wondering about the systems buried underground.

Some GIS data is public, available on the internet, like the Oakland Macomb Interceptor project.

Often wastewater systems involve multi-county connections, underneath the county borders on a map.

GIS data, layers, and viewers are crucial to government transparency of infrastructure projects.

Local elections 2015

Now that elections have ended, everything has settled down,
and the new faces have taken over,
contact them with your concerns.


Oakland County (just over Dequindre Road) plays a BIG role in  local drainage issues of Macomb County. Major sewer lines are called Interceptors. One of the largest is the OMID (oakland macomb interceptor drain)- flowing through Warren. Warren should have free access to the Interceptor, making up for the GWK Basin Red Run open channel eyesore.


Then there is the issue of paying for tapwater via the GLWA agreement. Which water intake will your bill go towards ? Hopefully ALL the cities will get EQUAL representation , regardless of the physical boundaries of the Counties.


Educate yourself on the sewer and water districts so you do not get hosed by slick proposals and political doublespeak.


I think ski mountains (at high elevations) and far distances, should pay a high premium for drinking water. I also think Sewer rates should be based on impervious surface area (rooftops, driveway, parking lots, etc) so that massive commercial/ industrial complexes pay a majority of the operational costs.

Get to know who represents your household and exactly what they are going to do for you in 2016.
We all need fresh clean drinking water, and count on the toilet flushing our waste away.

Dawson & Ryan in Warren

County and city planners make decisions every day based on elevation of property. The area by Dawson Drive and Ryan Road at the Red Run Bridge in Warren Michigan has been a low spot for 60+ years.

The Red Run has a large flat concrete slab by Dequindre Road.
Drawings show it at 597 ft


A mere 18 ft of StormWater brings the Red Run to the 100 year “floodplain” level of 615 ft.
– Notice the actual 48 inch diameter stormsewer is buried at about 610ft (below the floodplain)


Old stormdrains leak when overfilled, connections get mis-aligned from continual Bridge vibration, etc, etc.


So when the ground is ultra- saturated with Rain, and the pipes are full and surcharging along with leaking like sieves – the water finds its way into people’s basements.


It’s easy to see how stormdrains quickly overwhelm the sewer drains causing chaos.

The City of Warren has plans to rehabilitate Dawson Drive by Ryan Road. Residents at the lowest elevation should get backflow/checkvalves installed at city expense. Numerous flooding incidents have occurred at this exact site, City Council has heard residents complain over many years, the Mayor and County Government know it occurs as well. It is not a one time,  act of nature, idiosyncracy. It is multiple, repeated, and far too often for residents to endure poor city planning.


The houses by Dawson and Ryan are at a low elevation, by the Bridge.



Perhaps some dredging needs to occur – under the bridge – making the channel deeper, at that point.


The GLWA and Inter-County DRAIN boards know full well  how often the 12TownsDrain facility aka GWK Retention Basin discharges CSO into the Red Run and ClintonRiver.

Residents deserve a break from flooded basements – with the city paying the expense to fix the situation – especially if the concrete is going to be torn up anyways. Time to plan, strategize, discuss, and permanently fix a situation once and for all in 2016.

Rain this week ?

We have had some small “sprinkles”, but no significant rain storms for quite a while.

That is all about to change.


Let’s hope the hard dry ground does not force too much rain quickly into the drains causing issues for people.

Detroit Water ShutOff Farce

Let’s be entirely honest with everyone and not insult their intelligence. The Water ShutOff program in Detroit is a joke. It is not taken seriously by anyone.

Tap water and the accompanying
sewage-disposal is damn cheap.
On the order of approx.  $  2.00 per day,
– for a majority of households.
The cost of a doughnut & coffee.


Sure, some single mom has 6 kids, but that responsibility is on the parents (plural),
both of them.

Detroit government officials need to stop the joke of Water Shutoffs.
If they were truly serious, 
they would CUT the pipe,
WELD in a plug
Force the issue of reality. Drinking water is not free in USA. Theft of utilities is a crime.

Anyone can buy a Water Key.
They are readily available. People simply ILLEGALLY  “” turn “” the water back on;
after it has been turned off.

You might have to scroll down the channel 7 news page to see this video :

About 90% of Shutoffs are back on and functioning the next day.
No bullshit, facts, do the math.
11803 / 12758 = 92 %


Detroit is behind in collections to the
tune of $ 68 Million dollars.


Detroit is now completely on its own with no support from suburbs


Water Keys can be bought locally





How will Detroit hold its end of the contract with the newly formed GLWA ?


Time to get down to reality and stop playing games before it really escalates out of control.

Detroit needs politicians with backbone and integrity who don’t break down due to media hype, protests, etc. Stand firm, stand true to what actually exists now; not some “” wish”” of what might be nice in fairy tales.

McCormick now CEO of GLWA

I wrote about this a few months ago when the GLWA first released the “national” search for a new CEO

A big part of the GLWA equation involves bondholders

Click to enlarge –



Neighborhood Monitoring

Is your neighborhood being monitored for wastewater and stormwater flows ? How would you know ?


Does the residential community have a set of unique meters – compared to the commercial or industrial parks ?

Have you ever had a discussion with your local City Council regarding what the meters read, the analysis, or conclusions drawn from the data ?

What if you use rainbarrels extensively for flushing toilets, doing laundry, irrigating a garden ?
Then TapWater INBOUND for drinks  does not equal wastewater  outbound in the sewer , eh ?
Big house with lots of roof area, massive patio, and  large concrete driveway has more runoff than small house with massive front and rear lawn !

Are you being charged correctly ?

Who decides for you, local city, the GLWA, or Macomb County ?

Dequindre Dividing Line

Will your water and sewer rates be designed and mandated according to which side of Dequindre Road your residence or business has been built ?

What happened to REGIONAL , as in all encompassing , both Counties ?

Did you see you “anything” on a MACOMB COUNTY website, social media site ? If you did, send me the link. Leave a comment.

I hate getting news from a county where I do not live. Who did you vote for…..?

Where do you go for the latest, up-to-date info on Water issues in Macomb County — and how does Oakland County affect what happens here ?

Who leads with info, transparency, data – and who follows ……?



Water Authority

Water Authority

Macomb Water Meetings



Macomb Water Authority ?

Does it truly make sense for Macomb County to go entirely solo , as a unique entity, for a tap water system ?

If there is bargaining power, as a mass unit, with dozens of communities with a unified front, does it not make sense to be  REGIONAL ?  A cumulative effect of Oakland and Macomb Counties, together ?

Should the Madison Heights residents on one side of Dequindre Road – pay a different fee – than the Sterling Heights residents – for the EXACT same tap water ??

Drinking Water

Drinking Water

Is Macomb County looking north to the KWA drinking water supply ?



I find it ludicrous that Anthony Marrocco wants Macomb to go solo. I see it as a power grab , from the Drain Commissioner.

Think long and hard about the idiocy of using Dequindre Road as the dividing line between pricing tap water in Metro Detroit.
— The Sewage is definitely InterCounty flowing between ALL 3 Counties, and that will not change anytime soon.

If it IS based on elevation, distance, pumping – than OAKLAND County – should pay the most for tap water.
It has multiple sites at 1200ft above sea level – like Pine Knob and Mt. Holly.


How does Warren fit in; since it is close to Detroit, YET the city of Warren has its own Waste Water Treatment Plant. Our water bills are quite reasonable right now.




Combined SEWER overflow corridor

Combined SEWER overflow corridor

Modern water strategy

We all live in 2015 , the present.
MetroDetroit cities are built of concrete, steel, asphalt, blacktop along with many NON-natural items. We are quite removed from nature on a day-to-day basis.

The oil companies have put their pipelines under rivers and lakes for decades. Not exactly new news to anyone paying attention lately.

WHY does everyone accept the #sewerdistricts as they currently are ? Because of a creek, stream, river, a watershed, the topography of the earth, natural boundaries ?

There is nothing natural about stormwater flow in our modern society – with 2 million square ft. warehouse roofs and parking lots.
We live among huge industrial manufacturing complexes covering 100’s of acres,
often under one flat metal roof.

Think about it.
We make toilet water go exactly
where we want it to go, the
We make massive parking lots
dry by forcing the puddles of rain into steel grates with underground piping towards major rivers.

Why is “”your”” sewer district drawn the way it is ? Can a sewer district be Inter-County ? We already have many Inter-County drains, with special drainboards. A sewer district can be gerrymandered by Corporate lobbying, political pressure, or antiquated 1960’s planning strategies ?

Have you challenged your city council, your GLWA rep, the county executive, drain commissioner, etc. on exactly how sewer rates are calculated ? It should not be a mystery. Data from stormflow meters shows the corporate burden of responsibility, based on roof size, parking lot size.
The Oakland Mall area is a great example of acre, upon acre, of roofs, parking lots, and all that rainwater has to go – somewhere.

Warren gets a tremendous amount of stormwater flow from the GWK District in Oakland County. Why is OakPark in the GWK district ? Numerous similar examples exist.
Hmmmmm, makes you wonder;
in a modern society of technology
and engineering abilities.



Warren WWTP

The City of Warren waste water treatment plant has many challenges ahead to gain proper compliance and permits from MDEQ and EPA for clean water.

Hopefully the overflows of
“”blended effluent” will cease.
How the newly formed GLWA acts on Macomb County’s behalf is a mystery. Stormwater and wastewater from OAKLAND County flow through Warren.

Will the water discharged to the ClintonRiver via RedRun really get cleaned up in the next 2 years ?
Heavy rains have caused chaos, on numerous occasions, multiple times, the past 10 years.


Oak Park & Warren water

What would a new project in Oak Park have to do with Warren you ask ?
It involves Oakland County Sewage crossing over Dequindre Road, into the Red Run and the Clinton River .















Fees Charges Lease Interceptor

If our wonderful beautiful City of Warren Michigan is to HOST the massive  Interceptors Drains Project — why should Warren pay to tap into it , eh, reps at GLWA ?

Warren is at a much lower elevation than Oakland County cities. We truly do HAVE our own stormwater issues to contend with.

Warren already copes with outdated antiquated CSO flow via 12TownsDrain aka Oakland Kuhn Basin into Red Run flow of Clinton River .

Oxford flow into Warren – oh yeah !




Brian Baker GLWA rep

The representative for the City of Warren in Macomb County regarding the GLWA is Brian Baker

Get to know him a bit better via this video recently created :

Double Trouble USACE Red Run

I’m going to call it like I see it folks.
Double dipping, paying twice, fleecing the taxpayers, etc etc ALL apply to this project via USACE.

OAKLAND County stormwater flows -underground- from a dozen cities- INTO the City of Warren in MacombCounty. They don’t live with it, see it, smell it, etc – it gets funneled towards us in Warren – and their projects become “our” problem.

A look at the New Project for late 2015 and early 2016 – in Warren.


The prior “”Bank Stabilization”” initiative for the Red Run DRAIN (in section of Warren between Dequindre and Ryan) had major landslides, geotextile fabric failures, and looked disastrous in the 1rst round.

Pictures and Video
back in 2011, 2012

Now in late 2015 or early 2016 – the USACE decides to fix the mistake it made almost 4 years ago (2011)



According to USACE :
The berm placement by East Dawson Drive is not for flood prevention. The proposed project is bank excavation to reduce the bank steepness (slope) along existing drain bank.

The bank has slumped and discharged sediments into the drain which will affect the end area of the drain and the ability of the drain to adequately discharge flood waters.

The bottom toe of slope at the water line will be armored with rock to minimize scouring.

About 16,000 cubic yards of excavated material will be placed into a reconfigured berm north of the work area and 3,600 yards placed in an “L” shaped configuration at the Ryan Road site located at Ryan and Dawson intersections.

Neither of the placement areas are designed as flood protection berms, but are sediment placement areas, within the drain right of way.

The excavation to reduce the bank steepness will provide additional flood storage capacity estimated at  about 4 acre feet within the 100 year floodplain.

The guys that received the contract the last time were – Site Development on Stephenson Highway in Madison Heights. Oakland County gave them an award – for the shoddy workmanship – .


Let’s hope they DO NOT get the contract again. That would truly be a travesty .

CLICK on image below to see full size

USACE Site Development

Aug 19, 2015 USACE determination

Get ready for more noise, clanging, banging, diesel fumes, etc, once again – at Ryan Road and Dawson Drive in Warren Michigan.

Trust me, its been “” busy”” to say the least, the past few years.

AUG 19 , 2015


This notice provides an update to
notice of  May 8, 2015.

*** The change pertains to using an additional upland sediment placement site

for excavated material removed from the Red Run Inter-county Drain for bank

The placement site has been owned since 1955 as part of the Red Run
Inter-county Drainage District lands.
The upland placement site is located immediately

southeast of the intersection of Ryan Road and Dawson Avenue on the north side of the

Red Run Inter-county Drain, Warren, Michigan (Figure 1 ).

The site is approximately
1 acre in size and maintained as mowed grass with a small area of gravel. Only
excavated material removed from the Red Run Inter-county Drain bank stabilization
project will be placed on the upland site at Ryan Road.
The proposed action is to place approximately 3,600 cubic yards (CYD) of excavated
material on the Ryan Road site in an “L” shaped configuration.

The sediment will be placed in a layer approximately 7 feet high from existing site grade with a final proposed top elevation of 621 feet (NAVD88). A 280 lineal foot (LF) shallow drainage swale will
be constructed on the north side of the placement area parallel to Dawson Avenue to direct surface runoff to a proposed 12 inch reinforced concrete pipe (RCP), 150 LF in length that will discharge to an existing storm drain.

The fill material will be seeded and
stabilized after placement. All of the sediment generated as part of the project is classified as suitable for unrestricted upland placement. As identified in the EA,
approximately 16,000 CYD of excavated material will remain at the original placement site located immediately north of the work area. No fill would be placed in the wetland depression identified in the original placement area.



Based on the location and characteristics of the site and our review thereof, we have
determined that there is no change in the impacts as assessed in the EA other than the minor increase in air emissions for moving the excavated material to the Ryan Road site.

The final proposed fill top elevation would not block the view of drivers using the intersection. The proposed action does not constitute a major Federal action
significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.
The use of the placement site is being coordinated with Federal and state agencies and adjacent residents

Any person who has a comment or an interest that may be affected by the use of the proposed placement site must submit the comment or concern in writing to the contact provided below within the comment period of this notice and must clearly set forth the interest that may be affected and the manner in which the interest may be affected by this activity.

You may provide any concerns or comments regarding this proposed action in writing within thirty (30) days of the date of this notice.

If no comments are received, we will assume that you have no comments.

Please direct your comments to:

Charles A. Uhlarik
Chief, Environmental Analysis Branch
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District
477 Michigan Avenue,
Detroit, Michigan, 48226-2550

Following the comment period and a review of the comments received, the District Engineer (USACE, Detroit District) will make a final decision regarding the need to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement, modify the project to further minimize impacts.

Fix Red Run in 2016 ?

Wow, finally, after many, many years of residents seeing the mess, failures, chaos, it “may” be fixed in some manner….wow

In the past, landslides, geo-textile fabric blowing in the wind, etc etc



Now, perhaps, maybe, possibly, it might get corrected, and act properly to drain OaklandCounty – into Warren – and the Clinton River, Lake St. Clair ?

Actual confirmation that things DO NOT work as intended. Amazing to see that finally in print from the USA army corps of engineers.

Water future plans

I can easily see a day when the GLWA gets All of its clean drinkable TapWater from the north, leaving Detroit out of the equation/ network completely.


Detroit Drinking Water Network

Understanding GLWA

A recently released video “may” clear up concerns people are having about the re-structuring deal involving bonds

–FAQ responses with Robert J. Daddow

Rochester sewer issues

Clinton River appears to be getting some sewer work near Rochester, Michigan.
Wonder if the instances are related to other underground leaks ?

Everything flows downstream…



Oakland Macomb Interceptor

Oakland Macomb Interceptor

-In nearby Auburn Hill, a recent spill caught the attention of the EPA, concerned about the Clinton River_20150815_120252

Monday showers

Some scattered thunderstorms capable of brief intense rain, but nothing severe.


We need better Water !

Government does NOT protect you, or the water, nearly as much as you may think. Michigan has numerous contaminated water issues all around in SouthEast Michigan.
Don’t be duped by marketing media hype promotions revolving around economic gain.

Article excerpt :

Michigan has more than 1.3 million on-site wastewater systems (septics), but is the only state without a specific law regulating them. No central system exists to track the locations or conditions of these systems as Michigan lacks a statewide sanitary code that would require inspections. Only 11 of Michigan’s 83 counties conduct septic inspections at time the time of real estate transaction.

More than half of all new single-family houses built today in Michigan are not serviced by a public wastewater utility but instead rely on individual septic systems.  The report estimates that at least 130,000 systems statewide are likely failing and discharging as much as 31 million gallons of sewage per day.

Michigan has more than 1 million private domestic wells, more than any other state in the U.S. While public water supplies are subject to oversight and frequent inspections to ensure their quality and safety, individual residential water well owners are responsible for the maintenance of their own wells, and the siting and construction of these wells is handled at the local level rather than at the state level.

The state has an estimated 2 million improperly abandoned wells, each of which poses a risk to groundwater resources by providing a potential conduit between the surface and underground aquifers, or between aquifers.

Michigan has more than 8,500 leaking underground storage tanks and more than 9,700 other sites of environmental contamination. Twelve of Michigan’s original 14 designated Areas of Concern remain on the list of areas with legacy contamination. Cleanup funds and monitoring funds from previous statewide bonds are within a few years of disappearing, and no replacement source has been identified.

About 8,500 of the state’s more than 10,500 public water systems rely on untreated or minimally treated, high-quality groundwater sources. Protection of groundwater resources is critically important for environmental and social use. That means we need both proactive protection of headwater areas and groundwater recharge zones, along with action to deal with legacy pollution (e.g., the massive Mancelona TCE plume that recently made it into Scientific American magazine).

More than 2,500 new high-capacity irrigation groundwater wells have been registered for installation in Michigan in just the past four years. Total agricultural water use continues to increase, meaning the state needs to reconvene its water withdrawal assessment tool review team sooner rather than later in order to ensure we have the best information available about the impacts of these new wells.

Michigan has 35,000 miles of public drains. They are all heavily modified forms of their former selves (we used to call them streams and rivers), and as MEC board member Dr. Bryan Burroughs recently wrote, our system of drain management needs a serious look.

An estimated 7,000 pounds of mercury were emitted in Michigan in 2002, the last time an inventory was completed. That contributes to advisories to limit consumption of fish from our waters. About 37 percent of the mercury came from coal combustion and about 30 percent from “purposeful use” of mercury.

In the U.S., more than 13 percent of our total electrical energy goes to pump, treat and heat water supplies. The Huron River Watershed Council validated and explored this connection in a 2014 report, The Carbon Footprint of Domestic Water Use in the Huron River Watershed.

What is in Clinton River ?

Aerial view of Harley Ensign Marina peninsula as Clinton River discharges into Lake St. Clair.


On July 28, 2015, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite captured images of algal blooms around the Great Lakes, visible as swirls of green in this image of Lake St. Clair and in western Lake Erie.

Scientists expected the 2015 season would be severe regarding  harmful algal blooms.

Harmful algal blooms can lead to fish kills and affect water recreation safety.

A new multi-agency system is expected to make the color satellite imagery more easily available to environmental and water quality managers.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey

DWSD Collection Plan

Everyone knows The City of Detroit desperately needs inbound revenue to provide outbound services to its residents. Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit City Council and the DWSD management stand firm,  on getting people to pay for their clean drinkable tapwater usage and the accompanying sewage treatment service.

Watch Vimeo video
DWSD Collection Plan


Wednesday sprinkles


Not expecting a lot of rainfall, barely enough to wet the grass and vegetable garden. Humidity will get cranked way way up as raindrops evaporate off the humongous large hot parking lots in the vicinity. Summer in the D, enjoy.


GLWA Sewer Districts

The newly formed GLWA will have to deal with old Sewer District issues as they emerge in discussions over who and where pays what,  and how much for how long.

Do you know the name of your current Sewer District, who exactly runs it, and how the charges are figured out ?  We all pay for StormWater, it has to flow somewhere. Yes, we pay money to dispose of Rain.

The Southeastern Oakland County Sewage Disposal Authority (also referred to as the Twelve Towns Drain
) was established in 1942 to address flooding problems in this region. The Twelve Towns Drain
District includes the cities of Berkley, Birmingham, Clawson, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods,
Madison Heights, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, Southfield, Troy, Royal Oak Township and the
Village of Beverly Hills.

In 1972, the Twelve Towns Drain District completed construction of a Retention Treatment Facility (RTF), a
20 foot high by 65 foot wide structure in the bed of the former Red Run Drain. This RTF runs 2.2 miles from
Twelve Mile and Stephenson Highway in a northeastern direction to Dequindre Road south of Whitcomb
where it empties into the Red Run Drain.

During rain events, the RTF receives a combination of storm and sanitary flows from the 14 communities
that make up the District. The RTF captures this storm water and sanitary sewage and drains gradually into
the Dequindre Sewer Interceptor where flows travel south to the Detroit Water and Sewage Board Treatment

In heavy storms, after retaining 35 million gallons of combined sewage, the basin overflows into the
Red Run Drain, in Warren, after receiving primary treatment including skimming and chlorination.

As part of an Agreement with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), the Twelve
Towns Communities were required to plan and construct $144 million (original estimate) in improvements to
the RTF aimed at reducing the volume and the frequency of the overflows, and providing adequate treatment
of these overflows when they do occur.

Twelve Towns Contested Case Settlement

On October 22, 1998, the Director of MDEQ issued the new  Pollutant Discharge Operating Permit that allows the South Oakland County Sewerage Disposal System (SOCSDS) to
discharge Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) into the Red Run Drain until October 1, 2003.
This Permit has
been renewed several times since then.

In June 2005, the communities agreed to the change and renaming the permit to “George W. Kuhn Drainage
Board on behalf of the George W. Kuhn Drainage District”.

Clinton River Concerns

— Despite the “media hype” , the Clinton River has been; and STILL is; a major concern for federal agencies.
— It was NOT well taken care the past 50 years. Taken for granted, neglected, abused, dumped on, and taken advantage of, for Sewer Disposal, the river is limping along.
— Both Counties, Oakland and Macomb, contribute massive amounts of Stormwater runoff into the river, every time it rains.
Would you lick a parking lot ?
Stick you face into the discharge of a 50 year old “rain drain” to cool off ? That is EXACTLY what goes into the Clinton, plus Sewage Overflow on many occasions.
It’s reality, truth, and it is not pretty.
— The new GLWA needs to force Oakland County to separate its’  drain pipes – one for rain water – one for sewage. Antiquated ancient Combined Sewer systems have no place in a modern, high tech society. The EPA and DEQ both know Oakland County has massive tax revenue. LBrooksP continually raves about how well the county is doing. It is 2015, time to pay up, and stop skirting the issue, stop dancing around it. Fix it ! Oakland County does not exist as an island. It impacts “other people” across Dequindre Road, in Macomb County.

You’ll see the Clinton River, 3rd spot down, from the top of the list, for Action Plans.




Rotor Electric and Warren Water

Warren, Michigan in Macomb County is in a unique situation for the upcoming GLWA .

Warren has its own Sewage treatment plant




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.