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
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.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
DETROIT DISTRICT, CORPS OF ENGINEERS
477 MICHIGAN AVE.
DETROIT, MICHIGAN 48226-2550
AUG 19 , 2015
TO ALL INTERESTED AGENCIES, PUBLIC GROUPS, AND CITIZENS
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.
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.
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.
A recently released video “may” clear up concerns people are having about the re-structuring deal involving bonds
–FAQ responses with Robert J. Daddow
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.
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.
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
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
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
District) 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”.
— 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.
Around February 2012, there were concerns over upgrading the SCADA data information collection system from DWSD.
What is “actually” being measured, to the drop, TODAY in 2015; has been kept under wraps. The supposed “rate simplification” process arose out of a chaotic mis-mash of guesses and estimates.
Billing for rain, aka Stormwater Pipe useage, is a contentious, litigious, quagmire of poo, especially with CSO issues (Combined Sewer overflow piping)
FINANCE DEPARTMENT/PURCHASING DIVISION
1. Brown, reso. autho. Contract No. 2873778 – 100% City Funding – DWS-882
To Provide SCADA Radio Network Upgrades
Detroit Radio Team (Joint Venture with Motor City Electric and PCI),
840 W. Milwaukee, Detroit, MI 48202
Contract Period: March 5, 2013 through March 5, 2016
Contract Amount Not to Exceed: $7,995,090.00.
DWSD (PULLED FROM THE ADJOURNED SESSION ON 02-28-13)
A whole lot of actual true measurement :
“” Who used what amount “”
down to the drop ; – needs to occur pronto – on a massive scale – for the GLWA and DWSD to get off to a good start in 2015 into 2016. This applies to clean tap water flow and sewage/stormwater flow.
People have Zero respect for tap water. It’s ALWAYS on, ready to pour, at the kitchen sink, bathroom, outside spigot. We take it for granted, even when the power is out, and all is dark in a neighborhood.
The tap water infrastructure is invisible, underground, forgotten about, and yet it’s extremely vital to our daily survival. The Center for Neighborhood Technology estimates that approximately
6 billion gallons of water wasted in the U.S.A.
~ every day.
The Detroit tap water system LOSES 15% of all the water it creates for people to drink.
In an average year, DWSD treats and pumps ~~ ( nearly 228.5 billion ! ) ~~ gallons of water.
Ever really, really thought about YOUR personal toilet ? Stop ! Do it now. Think. It’s filled with tap water. Yeah – 40% of the tap water used each day by the average person is flushed down the toilet.
That RainBarrel capture concept looks mighty sweet already, right ?
A 5 gallon bucket from the RainBarrel is like 2 or 3 free flushes, per day, for a little work.
“Hundreds of billions in water and sewer improvements are not being made.” As a result of this neglect, a million miles of underground pipes need to be replaced, according to a 2012 American Water Works Association (AWWA) report entitled “Buried No Longer: Confronting America’s Water Infrastructure Challenge.” The cost of repairing the existing damage and keeping up with ongoing maintenance is staggering. “Restoring existing water systems as they reach the end of their useful lives and expanding them to serve a growing population will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years,” according to the AWWA report. Through 2050, the costs escalate to $1.7 trillion, or $30 billion annually. Looking at recent history, it is difficult to imagine municipalities shouldering this burden on their own.
Water policy is often in the hands of a City Council and the representatives usually cannot muster the political fortitude to raise tap water rates. Operational costs go up, and people need to pay money $$$ for treated, clean, drinkable, pressurized tap water. It IS that simple !
I believe we’ll see a push towards more “”usage fees”” for Stormwater runoff volume.
Large flat roofed buildings (A million square feet + ) with their associated parking lots, dump massive amount of rain into the Stormwater drains.
Square Footage matters….
A small house with lots of lawn would pay less , versus, a massive house with small lawn. The amount in the drain, rain volume into the pipe, is what truly matters. It is the only fair, decent manner, to create County wide drainage fees.
StormWater sewage mixed with leaking Septic Systems, along with DogPoo , GoosePoo, DuckPoo – all washed onto #LakeStClair beaches – shutting them down with EColi – according to Macomb County Health Officials.
The Clinton River and all its tributaries from BOTH the Counties; flow into Lake St. Clair.
Many models predict lots of soaking rain, possibly totaling an inch or more.
It gets ugly around 3am Friday with a 90% chance of precipitation. Saturday brings high wind and a lot more rain.
Learn more about rain, drainage, and what one Michigan community did about it.
VIDEO – HouseHold Drainage, Community BackUps, Flooding, with Calculations – Applies everywhere ! not just Ann Arbor.
Please watch the WHOLE clip as it goes into fine detail of How and Why a neighborhood drainage system becomes overloaded.
The next three months are expected to feature relatively cool conditions in the central states while the West endures more above-average warmth.
What does that mean for rainfall, precipitation, flooding scenarios ? My guess would be Fewer massive prolonged thunderstorms.
The jet stream dips lower, resulting in cooler temps here in Michigan.
As summertime thunderstorms roll in late June into July, one can only wonder what the new stormwater agreements will be.
The City of Warren is to modernize it’s Waste Water Treatment Plant
eliminating “” Blended Effluent “”
For NPDES permit in 2016
Everyone is supposed to modernize reporting of discharges
We’ll have to wait and see the rainfall amounts from future storms to determine what exactly got discharged into the Red Run, Clinton River and Lake St Clair.
Pontiac will play more of a role for sewage treatment in Oakland County, and of course, will, definitely discharge into the Clinton River.
— Happy recreating upon , and swimming in, the Clinton River.
Enjoy the Summer Sun (and Water)
A 3-ENH-orange risk area depicts a greater concentration of organized severe thunderstorms with varying levels of intensity
You might not want to leave your windows open all day …..
The GLWA won’t happen until the actual bondholders allow it to happen.
Article from The Bond Buyer
By CAITLIN DEVITT -JUN 15, 2015
Holders of $5.2 billion of Detroit water and sewer bonds are playing a key role as Detroit attempts to execute the last big bargain struck during the city’s bankruptcy.
As Detroit and three regional counties work to form a new water and sewer authority, winning bondholder consent within six months is needed to complete the deal.
The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department must secure the approval of at least 51% of bondholders to shift the bonds from the DWSD to the new Great Lakes Water Authority. Most of the debt is insured, and insurers are expected to act as proxy for the bondholders.
Bond insurer Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. wraps $1.92 billion of the debt, according to a spokesman. National Public Finance Guarantee Corp. insures $1.6 billion of the bonds. A spokesman for National declined to comment on the insurer’s position on the GLWA. Assured didn’t comment by press time.
The new authority was one of the last big bargains struck during the city’s Chapter 9 case. It calls for Detroit to lease its water and sewer system, one of the largest in the nation, to Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland Counties for 40 years. The city in return will get $50 million in annual lease payments and retain control of the infrastructure located within city limits.
The system serves nearly five million customers and is the largest in Michigan.
It’s the second time that bondholders have played a key role in the city’s restructuring efforts. The water and sewer bonds were front and center in the final days of the city’s bankruptcy. The city wanted to impair the revenue bonds by 40% or more by either stripping out call protections or replacing current coupons with lower rates, despite a revenue pledge that the market considered strong enough to escape bankruptcy unscathed.
The city ended up offering to tender the bonds, a complex financing completed in September and October, the final months of the bankruptcy. As part of the deal, Bondholders tendered a total of $1.5 billion of bonds, or 28% of the DWSD’s outstanding debt.
The six-member board of the GLWA signed the lease on June 12. The deal won’t be final, however, until the authority meets various conditions.
Many of the conditions are related to the DWSD’s large and complex debt portfolio.
In addition to winning 51% of bondholders’ consent, the GLWA also needs to pass a new master bond ordinance that authorizes the lease and largely reflects DWSD’s current ordinance.
The new authority is required to uphold certain current bond covenants, including coverage requirements for both additional bonds test and rate covenant that requires coverage of 1.20 times, 1.10 times, and 1.00 times for senior- and junior-lien debt, respectively, according to the lease.
The new authority is required to maintain a flow of funds to bondholders that was part of the tender offer. The DWSD agreed to keep debt-service payments second only to operation and maintenance costs and ahead of deposits to all other accounts.
The DWSD also needs to get confirmation from a ratings agency that the ratings assigned to the bonds would not be lower than the current ratings on the DWSD bonds. Bond counsel would need to deliver an opinion that the new debt will continue to be tax exempt. And as long as bonds are outstanding, neither the city nor the authority can terminate the lease, whether or not an event of default has occurred.
On the pension side, the authority needs to reach an agreement with Detroit and the Detroit General Employees Retirement System on how to manage the authority’s pension obligations. The lease allows the new authority to issue bonds to fund its pension obligation.
The conditions must be finalized by Jan. 1, 2016.
Bonds with a 2039 maturity and 5.25% coupon were yielding 4.31% in early June trading, according to the Electronic Municipal Rule Making Board web site. A chunk of the bonds with a 2023 maturity and 5% coupon yielded 3.11% in May trading, down from 6% in July, 2014 trading, when the city proposed impairing the debt
How often has your street been cleaned, swept, vacuumed ? A bit of yearly maintenance helps alleviate flooding. All that debris ends up in the stormdrains and they need to be cleaned out from time to time as well. When a street gets “cold patched” many pebbles ends up in the catchbasins via the steel grates by the curb.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DETROIT/PONTIAC MI
1044 AM EDT MON – JUN 15, 2015
-ONE TO 3 INCHES OF RAINFALL WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS WILL BE POSSIBLE. * URBAN FLOODING…ESPECIALLY IN THE DETROIT AREA…WILL BE POSSIBLE. IN ADDITION…RAPID RISES OF RIVERS AND CREEKS ALREADY SWOLLEN FROM RECENT RAINFALL MAY OCCUR
Warren DPW maintains 316 miles of local roads, 65 miles of major roads.
Budgets are tight, and people should help out a bit. It takes a few minutes to sweep in front of your house when you mow the lawn , wack the weeds and do some edging by the sidewalk. Everyone benefits , it is a win-win.
I would say the math is downright shaggy
and very long – instead of just a bit fuzzy.
Plan on a 10 percent increase.
Gag order lifted, open discussion can occur now.
At first it seems foolish, “pay for rainwater” ?
I am very serious, it concerns underground infrastructure.
Someone must pay for the water to flow – somewhere.
If the pipes are used more, they should pay more, right ?
More flow, more usage, more payments of a greater amount ?
Impervious surfaces such as rooftops, paved driveways, patios,
and parking lots, are major contributors to rainwater runoff.
Should you pay more because you have a large house, small lawn ?
Oakland County has combined sewer systems
A fair way to distribute the cost of maintaining storm sewers
and protecting area waterways is based on a property’s
contribution of rainwater to the sewer system.
Owners of large office buildings, shopping centers and
parking lots will be charged more than owners
of modest residential dwellings.
Now we all know some local areas get a LOT more rain
than others and it is quite scattered about
The heat island effect increase the amount of rain
– over and downwind – of major cities.
What about those area that are almost ALL concrete,
blacktop, parking lots, massive industrial manufacturing, etc.
They practically force rainwater into the drains
-versus a city with huge parks, large green spaces.
A mere 1 inch rainfall on 1000 sq ft = 623 gallons of water
A 2001 report from the Southeast Michigan Council
of Governments found that between $14 billion
and $26 billion was needed by 2030 to maintain
and improve Southeast Michigan’s sewer infrastructure.
Will the GLWA actually measure, analyze, and base rates
upon the flow of water in the underground pipes ?
I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Fair pricing and rate structure is not clean cut
and many, many factors play important roles in
financing the maintenance and improvement of a system.
via info on LinkedIn
How does a senior attorney who served as lead in-house counsel
for the Oakland County Water Resource Council forming GLWA entity;
negotiated terms, agreements, interests of Oakland County;
suddenly leave near the drop dead date of June 14, 2015 ?
There was a distinct effort to simplify rates a while back
probably due to DWSDs equipment unable to measure accurately
via info at http://dwsdupdate.blogspot.com/
Last Friday, June 5, 2015, the judge overseeing the remainder
of Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy entered an order
extending until January 1, 2016, Judge Sean Cox’s appointment
as mediator of matters involving DWSD
and the Great Lakes Water Authority.
Update (6/8): At 8:37 a.m. this morning, the order entered
on Friday extending Judge Cox’s role as mediator
was vacated by the Clerk of the Court.
The order indicates that Friday’s order was entered in error.
Without an extension, Judge Cox’s appointment
would have expired on June 14, 2015,
which is the deadline for DWSD
and the Great Lakes Water Authority
to finalize and execute the terms of a long-term lease.