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Digitizing Infrastructure

Of the 20,000 incorporated cities and over 3,000 counties in the USA , only a fraction can share data via open data portals. Sharing data universally among local governments has a long way to go.  There are many infrastructure items involving Inter-County connections. Who would look for Macomb geographically based items on an Oakland County website ?

With the Red Run Drain being an Open Channel StormWater entity in Warren, who would think to look into Oakland County computer/internet resources for information ? This exact issue causes confusion when folks seek out true stormwater and sewage info in local government. Residents lives, economic welfare, and health are affected by combined sewer overflows. Michigan needs to push hard now to eliminate CSO and SSO events.

As 2017 starts off , there needs to be a Michigan mandate for the adoption of digital technologies in infrastructure contracts, figuring in the cost of digitization and technology when setting project budgets.

The construction industry has had a poor productivity record due to its reliance on paper. The processes and deliverables such as blueprints, design drawings, supply chain orders, etc. suffered a gap in transparent information sharing.


“The digital-collaboration and mobility-solutions segment has attracted close to 60 percent of all venture funding in the construction-technology sector. One start-up has developed apps for tablets and smartphones that allow changes in construction blueprints and plans to be relayed in real time to on-site crews; site photos can be hyperlinked to construction plans. This solution maintains a master set of documents with automatic version control and cloud-based access.”  –

A new mindset is needed. Everyone from the Project Owner to the Contractor needs to see past the bare minimum required for contractual obligations.  There is a need for a Technology Officer whose mandate involves a digital agenda, forcing a digitization evolution forward in Michigan counties.

Animals on StormWater Drains ?

The Red Run Drain in Warren flows into the Clinton River and on out to Lake St Clair. An easement for vehicles exists, enabling access for Fire Trucks to put out brush fires along with various forms of heavy earth moving equipment from time to time.

Since much of Warren , Sterling Heights and other cities nearby is heavily populated, having different types of farm animals near people is a contentious issue.


I have to wonder how much ENFORCEMENT actually occurs from inspectors opening gates, peering over fences, and investigating reports of citizens actually raising animals. Perhaps a video drone could fly over property without the need to ring doorbells, open gates , to enhance enforcement of local ordinances ?

Many local ordinances basically say the exact same thing – raising and keeping animals for consumption of some kind, is restricted near public places , like stores & dwellings.

It is literally a slippery slope from eggs, to milk, to slaughter for meat, and giving, bartering, selling items for profit, without inspection, regulation, taxation.  A skinned rabbit carcass without furry paws intact, “can” easily look like “other” animals. There is a term easily researched via Google known as “”roof rabbit””.

It gets interesting with the Michigan Agriculture Commission involvement.

The State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has people sitting on the inter-county DRAIN boards like Michael R. Gregg and Jamie Clover Adams.


Many people have property which is along the stormwater drain and some feel their backyard is beyond reproach from anyone walking along the public easement. The easement is on the Macomb County Master Plan for recreational use. It would be a welcome addition to enhance non-motorized transportation in Macomb County.

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Protect ourselves ? Okay

I came across a surprising blog post from the EPA  over the holidays.

The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States of America

Apparently it is time for Citizen Science to bootstrap itself into relevancy.

The report is available here:












As 2016 ends

Since heartfelt THANKS to all those that read the posts, clicked on the links, shared info with family, neighbors and friends. Please push for more transparency in government, especially when it involves tax dollars. There is no free money , from anywhere, not the feds, the state or the county or your local city  !

There were 22,241 views and 11,020 visitors in 2016


Fraser sinkhole Christmas 2016

A major catastrophe for many folks in Fraser Michigan as a sinkhole swallows people’s homes, utilities shut off electrical power, drinking water, and natural gas.

This was caused by the Oakland Macomb Interceptor Drain, recently overhauled and renovated at a tremendous cost to taxpayers of the area.

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Got flooded ? -Tell Macomb County

I’ve heard a number of stories from folks that are NOT happy with the current state of affairs regarding flooding events by the Oakland / Macomb border.  They feel the system has given them a raw deal and little has been done to fix anything, etc.

TELL the Macomb County officials about the flooding concerns you have. A huge amount of stormwater crosses over (and under) Dequindre Road from Oakland County – into the Macomb County drains, adding to the problem.

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2017 Macomb Sewers

As we quickly approach the new year 2017 – does anyone expect change, improvement, progress , a forward evolution concerning the sad state of affairs regarding flooding ?

Did you hear, get contacted, read press articles about “new plans” from officials ?


Was there money set aside to fix the problems in your neighborhood, protect your streets and property from another major rain event occurring in the near future  ?


The Macomb County representative on the GLWA aka Brian Baker has been quiet.  Published on Aug 20, 2015 – Program about the Great Lakes Water Authority featuring Macomb County Representative Brian Baker.

Do you feel County Officials have enacted, planned, strategized, analyzed, the 2014 storm event thoroughly and have actually done anything to aid, prevent, help neighborhoods ? Have you seen an initiative , spread to the masses, via social media, television, etc. that lays out the REGIONAL aka (tri-county) Oakland/Macomb/Wayne solution concerning stormwater flooding  ?

Looking forward to watching elected officials, taxpayer expenditures, and the “plan”

The Master Plan is amateur at best

Macomb County has had a LOT of flooding over the years and you would think that officials like Mark Hackel in an executive position would be “on-top-of-it” . I fear he is not .  I think there is a real lack of PROactive, get it done yesterday urgency, by many officials. Far too much of the ol’ kick the can down the road till someone else deals with it.

An Example taken directly from the County’s Flood Planning document

When I see OLD maps showing Drive In Movie Theatres, I become angry.  Is that where our tax dollars go – to lazy slackers who can’t find a detailed MODERN map of our cities  ? I’ve posted newer maps in my blogs from current county databases

Does this inspire confidence in residents …….the plan for 2020  ?

Maybe they thought no one would actually READ the document ?  Just an exercise to say they did something, pulled together something, made a document to appease others ?




The “right” to flood others ?

Does a population at a Higher Elevation automatically have the “right” to flood those of a lower elevation  ?  Is it just a matter of owning geographical territory that is higher than someone else, that automatically entitles them to throw stormwater down upon those below  ?

It would appear to be that simple according to the history of Oakland County and the Red Run Drain – which flows into Warren within Macomb County.  Over the years, the area near 14 Mile and John R became more commercialized, more industrialized, with much more asphalt, parking lots, and buildings.  The catch – the drainage system remained the same. As I-75 became more congested, and the Oakland Mall shopping vicinity expanded, more and more stormwater gets FUNNELED directly into the Red Run Drain.


Notice the large + crosshairs of 14 Mile and Dequindre Road on the map above. They serve a great reference point to focus upon as your eyes follow the I-75 Highway from the Oakland Mall area down towards the 12 Mile area. You’ll see the water drainage in BLUE.

What exactly is the upper LIMIT of volume in the Red Run Drain before Macomb County says no more, stop, cease and desist, halt,  block and permanently terminate the flow  ?

It is afterall affecting the infrastructure of Warren owned bridges , like the one on Ryan Road, between Chicago and 14 Mile. The water has risen so high it has overflowed the bridge deck and kissed its bottom a number of times.  It is most certainly going to continue to happen in the future, until the bridge fails.

August 11 2014 flood event

May 25, 2011 event

Neighborhood streets drain into Red Run – July 2011

How can the streets drain properly , when the water level is almost at Bridge Height ? They simply can not , and the water gets backed up – forcing itself into people’s basements.  A documented, proven fact, repeated numerous times . Ask my neighbors, we’ve all been hit on numerous occasions, loosing possessions, time, financial resources.

People can clearly see the piping leading into the Red Run Drain via public documents. They have specific names like Henry Graham,  Wilson, Walker Relief, North Drain, South Drain, etc.

North and South Drains.png


It is no secret that Centerline forces its over flow UP towards the Red Run Drain as well, further contributing volume into the tributaries of the Clinton River.

Centerline SSO Path.png

We here in Macomb County get plenty of of our own rain thank you very much.  It has only one place to go, into the Clinton River tributaries. The Tank/Missile/Arsenal area must also drain itself to prevent from being a massive continuous swamp . General Motors built in Warren specifically because it had a LOT of water –


When will Oakland County  grab the bull by its horns and say Oh Wow – we built a huge mall and massive commercial/industrial corridor without installing, building, or creating a Waste Water Treatment Plant for all that sewage  ?   LBrooksP skirted the issue with the 12 TownsDrain snafu that has had continual problems over the years, barely, marginally, threading the loophole of SSO and CSO events. Places as far away as Oak Park, pay to have their stormwater routed into the Red Run Drain. Does that still make sense today  ?



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If DETROIT is sooooo vacant and has OVER capacity – why doesn’t more of Oakland County’s stormwater  sewer flow into Detroit infrastructure lines  – instead of flooding those at lower elevation along the Clinton River  ?

If Oakland County wants true transparency, openness,  – SHARE  the actual stormwater volumes of the drains into Red Run Drain and come clean about who gets charged what !

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We used to be able to see differences


Then it changed

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What will it take to make the records PUBLIC for the Henry Graham,  Wilson, Walker Relief, North Drain, South Drain, etc.  ? Obviously people are being charged MONEY $$$$$ based upon some kind of measurements  ?

With new construction along I-75, even more water volume will enter the Red Run Drain .  How exactly were those calculation made, by whom, and approved how – concerning residents in a County the other side of Dequindre Road – at a lower elevation  ?

Will Warren residents have to live in fear every hard rain to see their backyards full of water, their basements flooded, suffer financial loss – because Oakland County forces its will over the entire region  ?  I say no  !  Enough is enough. There are are limits. Perhaps they need to be imposed by Court Orders from the Feds and State.

Trump Infrastructure Strategy

At the moment it appears Trump favors the idea of Private Investment towards fixing the crumbling infrastructure of the USA. His advisors want to launch  $1 trillion in private sector infrastructure spending via $140 billion in tax credits for the companies willing to do the work.

The concept of P3’s (Public Private Partnerships) is not a new strategy

There is a catch – the Private Sector is just not interested due to the low return on investment. Trump’s team acknowledges that fact : “For infrastructure construction to be financeable privately, it needs a revenue stream from which to pay operating costs, the interest and principal on the debt, and the dividends on the equity.”


There is extreme difficulty forecasting a revenue stream from a P3 endeavor.  It comes from attempting to determine the pricing, utilization rates, and operating costs over time. With the high risk of lending comes the necessity for  large equity expectations. Trumps advisors claim the leverage will be about five times equity. In order to finance a trillion dollars of infrastructure – it is necessary to ask for an equity investment of $167 billion.

You can read all about Trumps advisors analysis here



2016 Election and Red Run

The Red Run Drain is used as a boundary, a dividing line, in elections.

The 3rd largest city in the state, uses an old drainage ditch, as the “line”

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2017 Red Run Drain project

Plan on more noise, diesel fumes and construction equipment along the banks of the Red Run Drain come 2017, as a new project has just been awarded.  I bet few in MACOMB knew this was in the works, as it originates from the other side of Dequindre Road.



The plan since 1970

The stormwater flow from Oakland County into Macomb County is based on an old plan conceived way back in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  Therein lies the heart of the problem. NO ONE has really ever thought differently since then. Everyone has just “dealt with it” because it was a pre-existing notion set in motion. Time for Oakland County to deal with its sewer issue, by itself, independent of Macomb County.  Accountability must occur at some point, instead of constantly kicking the can down the road, over and over again.

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Notice that ELEVATION restriction , when the Red Run drain hits 613 ft  ?

The Red Run Drain routinely hits 620 ft above sea level the past few years.

Any drain connected to it, suffers the consequences of water elevation at 620ft

The Beaumont Troy hospital as well as Oakland Mall, drain into the Clinton River, with the Dequindre Road borderline clearly displayed by the Twelve Towns District Boundary.

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I wonder how much TOTAL VOLUME actually comes out of the concrete structure below Dequindre Road in a major rain storm of 3 to 4 inches over Oakland County — AND why can’t more of it be diverted to Detroit , via the Dequindre Interceptor  ?




The writing on the wall

Let me awaken your inner fears with horror from 10 years ago
The Macomb Daily ran a story in 2006 — “Sewage discharges up in 2006

The article starts off — “More than 1.6 billion gallons of sewage was dumped into Lake St. Clair in 2006,  by government facilities that have made hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements designed to prevent sewage overflows.”

“Officials blame the huge volume of discharges, a one-third increase over 2005 amounts, on an unusually rainy year that often pushed the sewer systems beyond their capacity.

Did ANYBODY catch that – read it again – That was 10 damn years ago folks.

Local governments spent $ 500 MILLION dollars , Federal Money, on upgrades and they still missed the mark by a massive, astronomical mark – Back in 2006

The Macomb Daily article of 2006 goes on to say “sewers and sewage retention basins overflowed into the lake 59 times in the past year. That pollution is blamed for the poor water quality and excessive weed growth along the Lake St. Clair shoreline.”

REALLY, no kidding, you say.

It did what ? – Overflowed – Polluted – Hurt Property Value

Public Officials said – don’t worry, we are on the job , we fixed it .

The GWK Drain, the facility completed a $144 million improvement project in June.”
The 10th time in 2006 that the GWK Drain has overflowed, dumping 745 million gallons of sewage into the waterways. But that compares to a high water mark of 2 billion gallons at the facility in 1998.

Pardon me but SERIOUSLY – have all the  residents of Macomb and Oakland Counties been smoking crack, doing ecstasy, heroin, Trippin’ Out, stoned FOR A DECADE ????

WHY is it not better in 2016 ?  Why no Political Massacres with Public Hangings  ?

Yes it’s gory as all hell, but this is a Halloween masterpiece of FACTS , not fiction.
Maybe we do need a Zombie Apocalypse where each resident gets an axe, a torch soaked in napalm, and reinforced Hummers to drive onto the lawns of politicians, scaring them a bit. Obviously nothing has scared them the past 10 years, so get to it already. Scare a politician , it is the season.
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The 2006 article from the Macomb Daily continues :

“Environmental groups have sharply criticized the failure of local governments in the United States and Canada to curtail overflows. A report released in November by the Toronto-based Sierra Legal Defense Fund said the Great Lakes are being treated like a “toilet,” with 24 billion gallons of overflows annually into the five lakes and Lake St. Clair.”

How much money did that 2006 article mention ?

“After an $80 million fix to the surrounding sewer systems, officials boasted that the Martin and Chapaton retention basins in St. Clair Shores had overflowed just a combined 36 times from 2002 to 2005. But in 2006 alone those two facilities overflowed 19 times, dumping 529 million gallons of sewage into Lake St. Clair.”

Rainfall in the area for 2006 measured 41.5 inches.

And yes this a TRUE story,  so bone shocking real , it should incite Damnation


If a politicians house does get damaged – well you brought it on yourselves, right  ?  We are waayy past the point of being comical and satirical. The elections are coming and you deserve to be scared of what might happen.


House Bill 5991

There is some new legislation being proposed concerning StormWater

Will the bill create a unique, separate, distinct UTILITY, and fees  ?

The House has 11 session days scheduled for the rest of the year.


Search Red Run Drain Blog

The blog is fast approaching 500 postings and has been active since 2011. Some might have trouble finding a specific search word within the Red Run Drain Blog written on WordPress

Google has a very specific manner to restrict your search to the website

Let’s use an example. Maybe you wanted to search for keyword “Elevation

All you have to do is type  Elevation

so it goes KEYWORD  a space – then SITE:  for the webpage


This will work for any search term or keyword you could imagine

Another example might be the term “USACE” for the United States Army Corp Engineers, who usually oversee and Federal project or monies spent on the Red Run

You would type in the Google search area  USACE





Perplexing volume Red Run Drain

The open channel Red Run Drain starts at Dequindre Road in Warren, slightly north of 13 Mile Road, across the street from the Red Oaks Dog Park.  The hard part is determining “what” exactly is measured or reported on the Department Environmental Quality webpage.  Is it strictly the volume of screened and sprayed sewage overflow (CSO) – or – everything from the GWK Retention Basin (RTB)  outlet into the ditch ?  A computer model was created a while back


It is easy to see multiple items in red print such as the Henry Graham Drain, North Drain Pipe, Pollution Control Facility Outlet Weir, South Drain Pipe and Walker Relief Drain. All of these empty onto a concrete slab at elevation of 597 ft above sea level for the open ditch. The bottom of the Ryan Road bridge is about 620 ft,  and the Red Run has kissed it a few times in recent years. The Red Run is often 20 feet deep and 120 feet wide along its 8 mile long path to the Clinton River.

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It’s easy to see how the drains match the natural flow of the creeks and streams

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Now lets see what the DEQ webpage reported back in 2011 for the Red Run Drain. Notice each event is labeled as a combined sewer overflow (CSO). Warren has its own WWTP and it is completely separate and independent of the SouthOaklandCountySewageDisposalSystem (SOCSDS) or 12TownsDrain


Lately everything is reported as a RTB event for the GWK Retention Basin, but I saw a report from the GLWA saying the “CSO discharge was going to be separate from the RTB”. This is all a bit perplexing to me and I’m sure most mayors + city council members don’t get it either.  Surely the sewer charges and stormwater charges for the cities involved are MEASURED by some gauges, calculations, procedure, etc. ?  How much volume is too much for the Red Run Drain to handle ? Open areas keep getting developed with more and more runoff existing today, then existed 10 years ago.  Is it all just a good guess based on a model with many assumptions, caveats, constraints, surrounding it ?


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It would appear a large amount of stormwater water volume does NOT go through the screening area and bleach spray process as it is just rain off parking lots, roofs, streets, etc.

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Forty-two major storm drains were disconnected and reconnected from 12 different towns to the North and South drains. ANY pollutants on the ground, concrete, blacktop, pavement, parking lots, industrial facilities, or items poured into a storm drain; ends up in the Red Run Drain – untreated.

In the past, existing storm drains discharging into the basin were removed and rerouted, providing more volume to control combined sewer flows. System storage was increased by 30 million gallons to 124 million gallons.  During a prolonged rain storm, the basin will fill via gravity flow and jump over the weir continually, until the storm stops. Almost all of 14 communities over a drainage area of 24,500 acres – are upstream of the Red Run Drain.

Determining exactly what the water volume flow coming out into the open channel ditch into Warren is a perplexing question. Rainfall has tremendous variability , involving Intensity and Duration.  One side of a neighborhood could get hammered hard while the other side merely got a few sprinkles. Perhaps the newer technology SCADA equipment – (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) will aid in getting a more accurate handle on it all.

How much more water can the Red Run Drain handle before property damage occurs to residents of Warren and people living downstream on the Clinton River  ?  Honestly I don’t know the answer to that question – but I’ll continue to pursue it.

The Macomb County Drain Commissioner will have a lot to deal with come 2017

Alternative pavement

The hot topic lately is how to efficiently deal with stormwater runoff. There is a ton of hype for permeable, pervious, and porous alternatives to traditional pavement. At the StormWater Summit 2016 held at Lawrence Technological University October 7th there was a presentation about the harsh reality of maintenance costs regarding various storm water friendly pavements and associated solutions.

Creating areas with native plants to ease runoff issues sounds great and wonderful. After they are installed, they require maintenance. Someone has to pull the weeds which inevitably occur. Who pays to have it done, how many weeds are acceptable  ?  If rain gardens are used extensively in a large city like Warren (35 square miles) , the maintenance cost needs to be added to the city budget. Then there is the issue of mulch wood chips. Quite often the mulch pieces float away, into the grates of the stormdrains, causing another maintenance headache. I am NOT knocking the green initiatives, just presenting a side of the coin people might have easily overlooked.

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Creating a parking lot that lets the rain get into the ground instead of the stormdrain pipes has great appeal, but it too comes with maintenance issues, costs, budgetary concerns.

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There are various systems on the market to accommodate very heavy industrial equipment like semi-trucks, tanks, cranes, etc. along with anything in between, but they have pros/cons as well.  With some solid brainstorming BEFORE items are implemented, solutions to stormwater runoff can work nicely. It pays to do a deep dive first, gather info and learn from prior installation sites, then proceed with the projects.

Parjana and StormWater Summit 2016

A local Michigan company, PARJANA has an innovative solution to stormwater runoff – prevent it from happening by efficiently utilizing the open areas all around us. They’ll be at the upcoming 2016 Stormwater Summit at LTU (Lawrence Technological University) this Friday – October 7 – on the Southfield Campus. Come take a look.



Parjana has a patented product that takes full advantage of the Vadose Zone


The EGRP (energy passive groundwater recharge product) aids the infiltration of rainfall into the soil, thus improving large areas where precipitation puddled, ponded, or ran off. It’s a paradigm shift, a new thought process, to be proactive concerning stormwater. The EGRP has 5 tubular channels that can be extruded into varying lengths to accommodate various site conditions.




Instead of a developer paving a parking lot with asphalt, or pouring concrete, funneling all the rain into drains and flowing it “somewhere else” – The EGRP products can be installed FIRST, in the ground, and a Porous Parking Lot Surface put on top, resulting in zero additional strain to existing underground stormwater systems.  The EGRP products are also extremely useful for golf courses, large open grassy fields, etc.  to offset the devastating stormwater effect from all the existing impervious surface all around us.

Connect with Parjana® on social media!

Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn Parjana | YouTube | Google+

LinkedIn Greg McPartlin


Max Volume of Red Run ? 

What is the max volume allowed by law to entire the Red Run open stormdrain channel ?   If someone has that number or court case, please comment on this story. 

Did the geniuses who pushed the Green GO button on I-75 Expansion ever visit the Red Run at Ryan Road AFTER a hard rain  ???   

It rained a bit at midnight as I fell asleep in NorthWest Warren on Wednesday night September 28th. 
The odd thing about the weather,  it came the other direction,  starting in the East and going to the West due to a Low pressure system modifying the wind direction. 

Curious to see how the rain affected the Clinton River via the Red Run and other tributaries. So I checked the USGS gauges. 

At noon Thursday,  the news repirts claimed residents were under Flash Flood and Food Watch adviseries. 

This is what the Red Run,  flowing under the Ryan Road Bridge,  looked like around noon on Thursday September 29

How much more do our local politicians and drain commissioner think they can cram into this drain ? 

When will someone stand up to LBrooksP and say NO !   Push the stormwater from I-75 expansion INTO the basement and businesses of OaklandCounty.  Let Oakland FEEL the pain,  every rain,  until they go insane.  They can’t just dump it over Dequindre for Warren residents to deal with. Time to start saying NO and FIGHT BACK.  

Quicker Ecoli Testing

By using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction test (qPCR), lab workers can look for a specific DNA, and get Ecoli results in four hours.

Because the test focuses on DNA,the lab can differentiate the waterfowl poop,from the dog poop, and the human poop.

A big part of Ecoli testing involves where the sample originates. Ecoli clings to wet beach sand. Each sand particle has many cracks and crevices, ideal for bacteria to attach. Taking a sample of water, with hip waders, 20 ft from the shoreline – will show a completely different set of Ecoli results.

Early in the morning, with NO ONE at the beach,the sand lays flat, undisturbed, and peaceful. Add 1,000’s of people and kids,the sand is whipped-up,mixing with the water.

Which sampling method do you trust yields the best results for your family ? Educate yourself so no one can fool you with the test results. It is your tax dollar at work afterall. 

More info :

Low tech sewer flow

Our stormwater and sewer pipes function primarily on gravity flow. No energy expenditure,  no moving parts,  basically set and forget. The guts of the system is low tech. 

A simple “blockage” strategically placed in a large pipe can divert flow. This dam is called a weir. 

A weir dam functions everyday,  all times of day,  never needing to be turned on or off – it just exists in the pipe.

The 14 Oakland County cities that take part in the GWK Retention Basin – all flow into one spot.  The WEIR dam determines what gets diverted,  and what flows over it. It is all dependant on the rainfall. 

It is a fact,  we are getting more rain than we did in the past. Engineering based on outdated historical logs, now miss the mark,  fail,  can’t accomodate the storms. 

Excerpt :
“Climate Central’s analysis of more than 3,000 rain gauges nationwide shows that heavy downpours are happening more frequently than they did in the 1950s. We found that all but two of the Lower 48 states have seen an increase in the number of heavy downpours happening each year, on average,compared to the 1950s, and 28 states have seen at least a 25 percent increase in these heaviest events.
– With downpours projected to be even more frequent and intense as the world continues to warm, we can expect more of these costly and dangerous overflows for many years to come.”

Television Coverage

The story of combined sewer overflow into the Red Run and Clinton River onwards to Lake StClair is getting lots of attention. 

Tune into WXYZ Channel 7 to see the story broadcast on television. 

I-75 and Red Run Drain

Where will all that stormwater from a new lane on I-75 go  ? 

Well into the Red Run of course  !

Plastics in Open Channel Drains

I’m a firm believer that an area that looks like a garbage dump,  acts as a garbage dump. By that I mean people are more apt to dump a candy wrapper,  a bag from chips, etc. in an area that looks nasty – versus a pristine,  manicured,  well kept up spot.

We live in a society where plastic is all around us in everyday life.  It’s no coincidence it gets into our open channel stormwater drains. The Red Run has 54 MILES of open drainage. 

Now add in the Clinton River tributaries,  as it all flows into Lake St.Clair. Washing Machine discharge contains synthetic fiber fragments from our clothing.  A combined sewer overflow event dumps them into the waterways. 

EXCERPTS from study

The physical properties of different plastics and the hydraulics of the different water bodies played a role in the study.

Micro-plastic particles are eaten by fish,  birds,  and other wildlife.  It is often mistaken for real food.  

Negatively buoyant fibers made of polymers such as polyester, rayon, nylon, and cellulose acetate may remain in suspension in the turbulent flow of a stormwater drain.

In contrast, many foams, films, and pellets/beads are made of positively buoyant polymers such as polystyrene, polyethylene,and polypropylene, which likely remain afloat in the lakes for some time, until biofouling or adsorption of minerals increases their density and causes them to sink.

The fibers enter the lakes but likely settle and accumulate in the lakebed sediments rather than at the surface.

This accumulation of microplastics in lakebed sediments may have important effects on benthic organisms as well as organisms at higher trophic levels that are reliant on benthic organisms.

This study characterized the quantity and morphology of floating micro- and macroplastics in 29 Great Lakes tributaries in six states under different land covers, wastewater effluent contributions, population densities, and hydrologic conditions. Tributaries were sampled three or four times each using a 333 μm mesh neuston net. Plastic particles were sorted by size, counted, and categorized fibers/lines, pellets/beads, foams, films, and fragments.

Plastics were found in all 107 samples, with a maximum concentration of 32 particles/m3 and a median of 1.9 particles/m3

Ninety-eight percent of sampled plastic particles were less than 4.75 mm in diameter and therefore considered microplastics.

How did Macomb prosper via Red Run ? 


Do people generally fill things from the Top or the Bottom ? Sounds like a simple question.  Direct,  straight forward,  to the point,  not terribly complicated.

When something is filled from the bottom, it is generally PUMPED in, under pressure. It has to –  to overcome the atmospheric pressure pushing down on it.

Does any city pressurize its street drainage system – of course not, that would be foolish you say ?

So when a simple gravity pipe attempts to connect to “a system” operating at 2 atmospheres or 20 psi – it can’t.  The water cannot enter.

When the Red Run is full,  at 20 to 30 ft deep, those little street drains are not effective, they are rendered useless. In fact they begin to BACKFILL,  to the manholes at street level,  leak, spill water into the dirt,  saturating it.

The water from the Red Run starts entering your neighborhood, saturating the ground very quickly, around leaky crumbling manhole connectors.

The Red Run is connected to the Storm sewers – when they leak,  it infiltrates your Floor Drain. No matter how much you pump,  the Red Run just overwhelms it.  As long as the Red Run is HIGH,  your basement is at risk.

Poor Engineering – A Blunder – A colossus ScrewUp,  yep,  yes, correct. I’ll give it to you straight. Without continual screaming for blood,  several pounds of flesh out of someone’s ass,  some firings, and basically a Revolution – it won’t change.  Pain needs to occur,  at a County and State level.  When they feel pain,  their personal paycheck on a chopping block ,  ousted to an unemployment line – then it gets fixed.

Why should any Macomb resident suffer so that Oakland County can EVADE  its own sewage problem ?  Hold  LBrooksP accountable for his actions. Make him tear up the streets,  seperate the sewers, and build a true WWTP,  within Oakland County borders.

No CSO fines from EPA

The reality is that the EPA does little to enforce CSO/SSO laws, does not collect fines,  and basically looks the other way.

The track record was clearly established in this 2005 independent report – and nothing has truly changed since  !

A review of EPA and state data suggests that many permittees have fallen far short of complying.

With no precedent of harsh,  strict, fine enforcement from the EPA, permitees did whatever they wanted the past 10 years.


Those numbers tell a clear story of the EPA having no real teeth. No state is afraid of a fine. Oakland and Macomb Counties have done little to stop  CSO/SSO overflows. They expect residents to “”live-with-it” ”

Michigan claims real time reporting of CSO/SSO events – but it’s a joke. Data doesn’t appear online for several days.  Throw in a major Holiday,  it could be almost a week, before the manual,  paper driven, data shows up.  Add in the InterCounty mis-communication of one hand not knowing what the other is doing.

Lack of notice about specific CSO occurrences and impacts,  leaves the public exposed to unnecessary risk; neighborhoods may not be aware that the nearby river or lakefront is overloaded with bacteria and unsafe to enter.

Macomb residents have to look to Oakland County – to see if the GWK Retention Basin had a CSO release.

Nothing will change without intense public outcry to get COURT ORDERS to seperate the sewers. Local Officials simply are not pro-active, they are reactive, after the sharks take a bite out of their ass. No pain, no action.

Property value and quality of life are HUGE motivating factors for families. When beaches are repeatedly closed,  basements get wet,  and streets are impassable – people get angry.

Oakland County is one of the richest in the entire nation.  How long will the rest of the state put up with their sloth,  noncaring,  selfish attitude toward their neighbors along Dequindre and 8 Mile ?

IF you have factual info of Oakland County paying an EPA fine for CSO/SSO release,  I would love to see it. Please leave a comment regarding the fine amount,  date of occurance,  and which facility was involved.





Financing Water

It seems one guy has influenced the funding of major water projects; more than others the past 25 years. He has been at the forefront of financing water and energy. Energy, what, yeah, it gets mixed in, believe it or not. Michael Curley has had the ear of the EPA and several presidents (plural).

I love his choices for the book cover. Coinage stacked on top of dirt, sprouting plants in forefront; solar panels and nuclear plant cooling towers in background. 

August 16,2016 Storm

A tremendous amount of rain is forced into underground pipes by many dozens of communities – and it ends up in the Clinton River. 

Think about 16+ feet of water,  over open channel spans of 50, 75, 100 feet across;  from Warren to Mt. Clemens. That’s a LOT of stormwater moving a lot of sediment into Lake StClair. 

Think about how many Bridges exist from Dequindre all the out to Moravian and towards Harley Ensign Marina. 

 ALL built to accomodate stormwater,  combined sewer overflow,  coming from places like Oak Park. – That’s 8 Mile and Greenfield rainwater,  diverted to LakeStClair via the Clinton River. Does that make logical sense to you,  a taxpayer,  a voter,  a homeowner ?

OVER 1/2 a Million Dollars,  every year,  since 12TownsDrain,  in OAKLAND COUNTY was built, draining into Red Run,  in Warren. 

Time to seperate the sewers LBrookP. Your county is NOT poor. 

Time for Oakland County residents to pay   their-fair-share,  ante up the tax revenue,  and actually fix their infrastructure inadequacies contaminating (via SSO/CSO) the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair. 

I put the blame squarely and firmly on Lewis Brooks Patterson, who skirted around the environmental issue of SEWAGE disposal.

 He bragged about it in his speech.

Macomb County needs to stop pussyfooting around,  engage the FEDERAL EPA,  The Supreme Court, and force OaklandCounty to reduce SSO/CSO events.

 “”Spray and Pray” ” does not cut it anymore for GWK Retention Basin. Find a way to reduce the volume of water.  Stop throwing the problem onto MacombCounty HomeOwners. Our houses,  basements,  and families mean something greater than your sewage overflow.