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Warren begins on stormwater storage

Warren is on the cusp of building a very large Stormwater Basin to comply with the DEQ mandate to take action, somehow.  The basin will be constructed on the former Roosevelt Elementary School property, on Stephens east of the intersection of Schoenherr and Groesbeck. The City of Warren issued a $55 Million dollar bond a while back to combat hard rainfalls.

As Warren will not  be connecting to the OMID (Oakland Macomb Interceptor Drain), it had to find an alternate solution.  From my perspective this is a lost opportunity , but the financial wrangling failed.

Back in 2014 , the City of Warren suffered severely via stormwater damages totalling  $1.2  BILLION and affecting over 18,000 residents.

Warren Enclosed Drains

Traditional Flat Paper Map

Traditional Flat Paper Map


Warren does a lot of stormwater brainstorming via the Metco company.  The Warren City Council  voted 5-2 on March 12, 2013 to approve engineering contracting with Metco and James VanHavermaat.

The City of Warren does have it’s own Waste Water Treatment Plant — BUT has had problems of being overwhelmed with stormwater from time to time due to Inflow and Infiltration (I & I).  Number 4 in the diagram below , are the Final Clarifier Tanks which went thru a bidding process for rehabilitation back in 2014 (before the big storm)

Warren WasteWater Plant.jpg







Calling out Candice Miller

If laws exist at the FEDERAL Level   – Why doesn’t Candice Miller use them, ask for enforcement of them (publically), and make a HUGE MASSIVE ISSUE out of them for the Combined Sewage Overflow problem plaguing the Clinton River  ?  Michigan needs to get serious and clean up its waterways – even if it humiliates and embarrasses some people.

Decisions made 20, 30, 40 years ago – are old – and what may have seemed like a wonderful way to — cut corners – go cheap – and throw a problem over the wall for others to deal with – NOW NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED.  The freshwater we have in Michigan is way too precious a commodity/resource to kick the can down the road any more.

Waiting for CSO reports – with a manual, archaic system – on a MDEQ webpage stinks  !!.  If Oakland and Macomb County cannot tap the amazing intellectual powerhouses of computer/technology resources that exist under their noses, SHAME ON THEM.

We have an Open Channel Ditch – and it fills up – IS NOT – a great system – either county should be proud about anymore. It is an eyesore, doesn’t do much for property values, no one recreates upon it, or in it, and it transports diluted POOP into a river and to other peoples seawalls. The knowledge, the tech, the ability exists, now we need the will of politicians.


GWK Macomb Oakland

How many years ?

Oakland County has been fouling the Clinton River for the past 50 YEARS  !!!!!HistoricalRedRun


It still takes SEVERAL DAYS for Oakland County to post actual volumes of combined sewage overflow via a manual, archaic, outdated system of handwritten paperwork.

Meanwhile public is left wondering if an actual CSO EVENT occurred, since the State DEQ Website is never filled out in a timely manner to inform the public on rainfall, amount discharged.

Who likes to kayak in Sewage invested rivers after a hard rain in Mt Clemens ?? Perhaps you wanted to go to the beach when the sun comes out and the temperature rises  ?



Heavy rain closes out July 2018

HEAVY rainfall predicted this evening 7/31/2018


Hard packed , dry ground, will probably have a good deal of run off, before it percolates down into the dirt, gravel, and various layers.


USGS gauge location where it all converges near the Freedom Hill amphitheatre

Gauge Location Pinch Point

Michigan House Bills 6242-6249

Separate the toilet Sewers from the rainwater StormDrains  in Oakland County,  Macomb County and Wayne County  via House Bills 6242-6249 which will expand the Clean Michigan Initiative to provide: sewer infrastructure projects, water quality monitoring & pollution control, address septic systems.


Recent rainfall problems Oakland County

The southeast area of Michigan finally received some rain, perhaps a bit too much. Reports of some flooding and power outages are coming in now Monday morning. If the electrical power is out, a basement sump pump just doesn’t work.


In some areas near Southfield, the precipitation estimates are 2 inches +


Rainfall is a dynamic event involving Location, Intensity/Timing, and Duration.  It can rain like hell in one place, and not the other. Rainfall can be a deluge or just a light mist. Sometimes it will last for just an hour, other times it last all day.  Predicting the exact amount of stormwater runoff from a rain event is a tricky beast.

Treating sewage overflows

No entity in Michigan occasionally releases RAW sewage into a creek, stream, river, lake. They actually do attempt to let it settle, screen it, and then they hit whats left over with Sodium Hypochlorite.  Hard rainstorms compress this time sensitive cycle .

Ohh you say —  bleach;  — but do you really understand what you are talking about  ?

From the comments, discussions, forums, etc. I read, most people forgot Chemistry. Remember IONS ?  A cation is a positively-charged ion, an anion is negatively charged. How about ordinary table salt you eat every day , Sodium Chloride , NaCl  ?

Let’s set the record right and help out those confused folks among us. 

Sodium hypochlorite  — Lithium hypochlorite —  Calcium hypochlorite
These are known as UN-stabilized Chlorine compounds.

The stuff for your POOL is stabilized via Cyanuric Acid (sunblock)
Sunshine quickly degrades chlorine, making it loose effectiveness over time.
You may have seen Dichlor and Trichlor for outdoor pools sold as a “puck”

So what you say,  all chlorine works in a similar manner, right  ?   WRONG –                    The key item to focus upon is the (AC) =available chlorine 

  • Sodium Hypochlorite

Sodium Hypochlorite is a liquid Chlorine and has around 10-12%  (AC).                          Ordinary household bleach has only about 5% (AC) , it is weak/safe in comparison.

  • Lithium Hypochlorite

Lithium Hypochlorite is granular Chlorine with a 35% (AC)  . Often used as a shock treatment for pools, but it is relatively expensive in large quantities

  • Calcium Hypochlorite

Calcium Hypochlorite is granular with (AC) of 40-70% used in pools.

SMELL –  there is too much chlorine in the pool Myth 

Hypochlorous Acid is the disinfectant form of Chlorine in the water known to most as Free Chlorine, or what you test your water to see what level it is Hypochlorous Acid is made up of a Hydogren ion and a Hypochlorite ion. These two Ions join and separate a number of times in the water. Their main purpose is to break apart, attack the bad stuff, regenerate, and reconnect keeping the water disinfected.

When you smell a “Chlorine” smell it’s the Hypochorous Acid that broke apart, attacked the bad stuff, but has nothing to regenerate and attach itself to. This give off the smell which makes one think the level is too high when it’s actually too low. The best remedy is to shock the pool to raise the Chlorine level and to get rid of the bad stuff.


Michigan Silver Jackets

The Michigan Silver Jackets have a vision to create, maintain, and integrate comprehensive partnerships and sustainable solutions to reduce risk associated with flooding and other natural hazards in Michigan. They attempt to accomplish this via hazard mitigation, emergency management, floodplain management and resource management.

Email them :

Emergency High Water Mark Assistance – by the Army Corps of Engineers
Contact: Emergency Operations Center @ (313) 226-1323

The Silver Jackets team is the forum where all relevant agencies come together with the state to collaboratively plan and implement that inter-agency solution.

Michigan Silver Jackets.png

Logo Silver Jackets


Assist File.png

Each state team includes :

  • the state National Flood Insurance Program coordinator
  • the State Hazard Mitigation Officer
  • a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • a representative from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The state may invite additional participation, governmental and non-governmental, to advance the state goals in flood risk management.

Silver Jackets Newsletter



From the BUZZ newsletter






Influence without money

Knowledge is the new money – spreading it outward yields dividends –

Its value compounds over time faster than money.

When you use knowledge or give it away, you don’t lose it.

Knowledge serves as a medium of exchange and store of value.

Transferring knowledge – is free and instant.

It can be converted into authentic relationships.

It accomplishes goals faster and better.

It helps one think bigger and beyond your circumstances.

– Seek knowledge my friends –

Testing of local water

When testing a body of water , it is tremendously helpful to have some insight into what you are testing for. Asking a certified laboratory to test your sample for everything,  can get time consuming.  Perhaps this helps some people find answers.

Keep in mind — Drinking Water from the tap in your home is quite a bit different from any outflow coming from a stormdrain in your neighborhood.  Many forget their drinking water , most likely comes from the NORTH aka Lake Huron.

Macomb County Drinking Water

Macomb County Drinking Water




Detailed map link of Macomb County – with many open channel stormdrains shown


Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Remediation and Redevelopment Division

Laboratory Services Section
Laboratory Certification Officer: Gregg A Lundy
Laboratory Certification Phone: (517) 335-9219

Laboratories Certified for Microbiological Testing



Laboratories Certified for Inorganic and Organic Testing



Laboratories Certified for Cryptosporidium Testing



Laboratories Certified for Lead and Copper Testing

Lead__Copper_Lab_Certs_526434_7 (1)



Rain intensity increasing in USA

The amount of precipitation is always dependent on location, duration, and intensity


It is a fact that rainfall events have become heavier and more frequent.



Map shows percent increases in the amount of precipitation falling in very heavy events (defined as the heaviest 1% of all daily events) from 1958 to 2012.

Hurricanes alter the weather patterns in places like Michigan



Can we learn from Chicago ?

Chicago seem to be WAY ahead of Detroit regarding Combined Sewage Overflows (CSO). Perhaps we could learn from Chicago in a number of areas about (CSO)

A great idea – they ask people – Who wants to know of a CSO event – no kidding


They have the Best Name Ever for their communicative website :


They send out automated tweets on the Open City Twitter account.

Chicago Twitter.png

Chicago does not mess around – THEY TELL PEOPLE – DIRECTLY – no games


I’ll admit the guts of it all is buried in the website, but the front end is AWESOME


Neat video explaining what Chicago is doing, what is planned, the future of it all

Take a hint SouthEast Michigan, the whole metropolitan Detroit region,do it truthfully ! Don’t make people hunt for info, from another county, on an odd cumbersome website.

Own the issue, be direct, NOTIFY and INFORM residents in a manner that doesn’t complicate CSO vs SSO vs Blended Effluent vs Other and so on down the line.



House Bill 6278 separate sewage systems

The plan laid out in House Bill 6278 requires all municipalities

in Michigan to completely separate their sewage systems

from storm water systems by Dec. 31, 2022.   



No Beach for Fathers Day ?

Currently the Beach over by Lake St Clair is CLOSED – I still call it Metro Beach


NOAA forecast reporting a HOT wonderful summer weekend :


Ecoli sticks to beach sand. As soon as kids run in and stir up all that wet warm sand,  the bacteria will be “present” once again in the waters, right near the beach. Separating the toilet sewers – from the rain drains – and actually truly physically/chemically treating the mixed water – is the only way to end this horrendous fiasco, once and for all. Retention basins don’t cut it, pure and simple, proven in-effective, after decades of use.

Red Run Clinton Metro Beach Bacteria

Red Run Clinton Metro Beach Bacteria


Combined Sewers SouthEast Michigan

Combined Sewers SouthEast Michigan – Oakland County boasts about being financially wonderfully flush with revenue/cash.  How about we start there, separating the rain storm drains from the toilet/laundry/garbagedisposal drains – and using a true Waste Water Treatment Plant  – instead of a spray-and-pray retention basin which overflows constantly the past 50 years.

1961 Red Run Drain & 12 Towns Drain

Oakland County started sewage overflow into Macomb back in the 1960’s

Article from 1961 in the Detroit Free Press , described the project, costs, etc.

You may want to view EACH image, separately, and enlarge it to read the text.




1958 Commissioner and Red Run

1958 Commissioner and Red Run

Can P3 save the Great Lakes ?


P3 stands for Public & Private Partnership – a unique way of funding infrastructure

A recent WhitePaper Report explores the possibility of  wealthy private investors collaborating with municipalities who don’t want to constantly have more bonds.

The P3GreatLakes Initiative addresses these issues in the Great Lakes basin

1) Alternative delivery options, such as Community-based Public-Private Partnerships (CBP3) and stormwater credit trading, that seek out more efficient, cheaper delivery

2) Alternative finance options, such as Environmental Impact Bonds (EIB), that help meet capital needs upfront,achieve pay-for-performance related savings, and pay for underfunded public services and infrastructure

3) Decentralized stormwater management systems called Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) that when properly designed and placed, are cost-effective ways of managing stormwater, improving water quality, and providing aesthetically pleasing solutions.


Macomb County WasteWater

I will attempt to share information I recently found on the internet regarding

Macomb County WasteWater maps, plans, etc.

It is a LARGE file, and is best viewed with Adobe Acrobat PDF file reader


YES, it involves reading, scrolling, moving thru about 50 pages of information that MAY seem irrelevant at times – push on to the next page – just deal with it.

A glimpse of what is inside :  ( hopefully you can click and enlarge for yourself)

Detailed MacombCounty.jpg

A large majority of wastewater is conveyed via the INTERCEPTOR system

– into Detroit for the Detroit Waste Water Treatment Plant to process

Warren is one of the few cities to have its own Waste Water Treatment Plant


Wastewater thoughts

Take a second and think HOW you actually use water at your house.  Only a small portion, about 20 percent passes through faucets for drinking. Another 20 percent passes through showers or bathtubs coming in contact with your eyes, ears, nose, or mouth.


The rest is split between the toilet, the washing machine, dishwasher, and sometimes watering the lawn, or washing your car.  Let those percentages sink into your brain.

Now think about a major rainstorm, lasting several days, thoroughly drenching everything in sight, and sending massive amounts of runoff into the stormdrains.  Approximately  770 communities across the United States have combined sewer systems. When rainwater is excessive and overwhelms the capacity of the old systems, the combined wastewater and stormwater,  gets minimal treatment and is released directly into adjoining bodies of water.

Here is the problem – what people are primarily charged for,  is the Drinking Water. Residents in a community don’t want to be charged for the Rain RunOff  aka StormWater. Of course no one wants to pay more for their Drinking Water, in an effort to raise funds for the wastewater side of the problem. So a conundrum exists, a paradox, a big tough issue.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates between 1.8 million – and 3.5 million people,  per year,  become ill from recreational contact, such as swimming, with water contaminated by overflows of sanitary sewers, which carry sewage to wastewater treatment plants.



Weather and Memorial Day 2018

In the United States, Memorial Day is always celebrated on the last Monday of May.

The weather cycle across the USA had Michigan see a LOT of rain for Mothers Day weekend May 12/13, causing local combined sewage overflow events. The weather pattern is set for another round of showers just before Memorial Day. Currently we have High pressure – which will – of course – lead to low pressure later on in the week, – before the Memorial Day Holiday.




IF people want to play at the Beach , recreate on the Rivers and Lakes in Macomb County when the sun pops out – we NEED to push politicians for wastewater  improvements.


SouthEast Michigan needs to UPGRADE and EVOLVE sewage infrastructure in an effort to protect our drinking water , along with the streams, rivers, lakes residents recreate in.

Water Source Location.png

Three inches of rain and CSO events

It rained quite a bit the past few days, over Mothers Day weekend, May 12/13, 2018

Of course, a Combined Sewer Overflow took place, flowing into the Red Run Drain, the Clinton River and on to Lake St Clair, fouling the waters.


Candice Miller and other government officials are VERY aware of the issue/situation and we must relentlessly, tenaciously, incessantly pound on them for change. Yes it’s expensive, Yes it’s complicated, Yes it takes time – Get STARTED – Get FUNDING – GO !!!


The history on this issue goes back many, many DECADES

It involves the USACE, The Federal Government, and numerous other agencies.

Flood Watch continues May 14

Beware, the soils in SouthEast Michigan are already saturated from recent rainfall

Flood Watch
National Weather Service Detroit/Pontiac MI
405 AM EDT Mon May 14 2018

…Periods of heavy rain expected this morning and again tonight…

Livingston – Oakland – Macomb – Washtenaw
Wayne – Lenawee – Monroe –
Including the cities of
Howell, Pontiac, Warren, Ann Arbor,
Detroit, Adrian, and Monroe


* Two more rounds of showers and thunderstorms will affect the area
this morning and again tonight. The potential exists to add an
additional 1 to 2 inches of rainfall to already saturated soils.
Most of the watch area has recieved between 2 to 4 inches over
the last couple days.

* Urban, low lying and poor drainage areas prone to flooding will
be most susceptible. Rises on area rivers, streams and creeks
will be possible, with the potential for minor flooding to



Flood Advisory May 12, 2018

A second round of showers and thunderstorms is moving in tonight and overnight across the Metro Detroit region of Michigan. Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as well as other drainage areas and low lying spots.


Flood Advisory

Flood Advisory
National Weather Service Detroit/Pontiac MI
1133 AM SAT MAY 12 2018

Wayne MI – Oakland MI – Livingston MI – Washtenaw MI-
1133 AM EDT SAT MAY 12 2018


Showers and a few thunderstorms over the Detroit Metro area will
diminish early this afternoon, with minor flooding continuing in the
advisory area. One and half to two and half inches of rain has
fallen along and close to Eight Mile Road within the past 24 hours.

Additional accumulations early this afternoon will be around a
quarter of an inch for most locations with locally higher amounts

Clinton River basically DOUBLED in height


Warren – Michigan’s 3rd largest city
on Saturday, May 12, 2018 about 5:30pm

2018 and Ecoli

Let’s hope there is a true CONCENTRATED and FOCUSED imperative to eliminate the Ecoli in our local streams and rivers originating from Human sources (feces). This involves funding, monetary resources, budgets, manpower and the pure raw will of the people to stop sewage contamination from screwing up The Great Lakes State of Michigan.

Notice how Oakland County clearly ties into Macomb County via tributaries


The area where the Clinton River enters Lake St Clair should not be brown with sewage overflow and sediment spewing forth , visible from aerial reconnaissance. It is after all where a major MetroPark exists,  and people want to swim on hot summer days.


I truly hope the MDEQ doesn’t sweep anything under the rug, hide info, etc. and just reports the bare facts to the public. Metro Detroit is HIGH TECH, we have highly educated, smart people all around the area.

We need accurate, timely reporting of incidents, events, spills, overflows.  No one one should drive to a beach, only to find out it is closed for swimming.  Everyone wants to go kayaking/canoeing on the Clinton River, YET it is fouled almost every rainstorm.

Public pressure, scrutiny, criticism is mandatory in a democratic government.  The more involved ordinary people are in the health and welfare of an area, the better it becomes.

I don’t think we should wait – several days – before knowing about the all too often occurrence of Combined Sewer Overflows – in SouthEast Michigan. It is appalling  !!!





Stormwater management fails

Everyone WANTS to be green/blue, environmentally conscientious, but the hard reality remains – it requires maintenance after it is installed – and that costs money – after the fact – years later.

Parking lots prevent rain from soaking into the ground.
The trees are cleared, and the paved surfaces absorb more
solar radiation than its surroundings, thus raising temperatures.

What sounds like a wonderful solution – just is not

The idea of a Bioswale : those sections of soil and vegetation to allow rain to percolate. As soon as some vegetation dies, leaves fall off, etc., the permeability is compromised. They degrade, quite naturally, unless a maintenance team does periodic work.

The idea of a Pond :  something to collect rainwater. they also collect trash, algae, debris, etc. and it all will eventually clog the inlet/outlet pipes. Surely a gentlemen will “volunteer” himself to dunk his body several feet underwater, into gooo, just to “fix” the problem, unpaid, eh ? Aeration you say, well that costs money, for a long while !!!

The idea of more Pipes : funny thing about these objects, they need access points to prevent being clogged with debris – and that brings up the point of “who” does the actual access , and the cleaning ?  Pipes collapse, leak, fail and require – yep, maintenance.

It requires a LONG TERM strategy that can’t be whimsically thought up in a few minutes. Brainstorming, thinking till it hurts, and then putting it out there for peer review, criticism, alternate option debate, is what really needs to happen – and that takes time – and money  $$$$.

Ready, set , go  – oh, snap, am I asking too much of paid representatives/politicians  ?

Is sewage/stormwater political suicide for someone to wear like a pair of coveralls ?

Yes, it involves MONEY – huge massive freighter boatloads of it – now AND later  !!!!

How is SouthEast Michigan doing, a report card so to speak – decide for yourself

We are fast approaching 2020+ , are you satisfied with the progress/solutions  ???

Rainbow sheen on Red Run in Warren

A rainbow sheen appeared upon the waters of the Red Run Drain by Ryan Road , just south of 14 Mile Road in Warren on Wednesday May 2, 2018 around 12:00 noon.

Oil Sheen.png

Candice Miller released – “A petroleum sheen was observed on the Red Run Drain in Warren earlier today, in the general vicinity of Ryan and Chicago roads. We responded, as did the Warren Fire Dept. We have placed booms and taken other measures to control and remove the material from the drain. Finding the source of these pollutants is often difficult, but we have begun the investigation. For now, the pollutant is contained. If you see anything that appears to be polluting a local waterway in Macomb County, you can call our 24-hour hotline, 1-877-679-4337. The number is staffed around the clock.”

It’s been very DRY

The weather has been so extremely dry, the weather service actually issued fire danger warnings for SouthEast Michigan on Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

Fire May 2018.png

Hazardous Weather Outlook

Hazardous Weather Outlook
National Weather Service Detroit/Pontiac MI
330 PM EDT Tue May 1 2018

St. Clair-Livingston-Oakland-Macomb-Washtenaw-Wayne-Lenawee-Monroe-
330 PM EDT Tue May 1 2018

This hazardous weather outlook is for southeast Michigan.

.DAY ONE...This Afternoon and Tonight

A red flag warning is in effect through early this evening. Fire
danger will be elevated due to low humidity levels, gusty winds and
warm temperatures.

Choosing the right words

Metaphors make complex concepts easier to digest, they inevitably simplify, shape, and distort our perceptions of these concepts, changing our thoughts in ways that we are not aware of.” A quote from a recent article, by Steve Rathje :

People STILL today, use the term sewer, when speaking of rain water falling upon a man-made surface. The rain aka stormwater, fell from the sky, never touching a toilet. Depending where you live, it may be combined with the toilet waste, laundry tub, bath water, etc. – deep inside the drain piping system. It may also enter a completely unique, special pipe, just for rainwater run-off from a street, driveway, parking lot, etc. etc.

DO YOU USE THE WORD SEWER – when speaking about rain water ? – WHY ?


The word “sewer”  brings the connotation of toilet waste along with it. If someone said the “rainwater drain” from over there, flows into the Clinton River, you might think it’s better, cleaner, more pristine, perhaps. The sad fact is that Oakland County does have a combined sewer system that often overflows into the Clinton River via the Red Run Drain. This can not be allowed to continue  !!  We must force changes in the laws concerning “”treatment”” of toilet waste in Michigan and force Oakland County to evolve.

GWK Drainage System

GWK Drainage System


Great Lakes Surfers monitor water

“The surfing community has been helping us to collect water samples and monitor recreational areas,” says Tully, “sharing information of what they see on the water, which is great because they tend to go into more isolated and less traditional areas than those swimmers and beachgoers use.

Surf the Great Lakes – OH YES most definitely  !!!!

People like Kayakers, SUP, Canoeists, Surfers are the ones on and in the water. They SHOULD be able to submit water samples and get them analyzed.  Local citizens who walk outdoors SHOULD collect samples from local Open Channel StormDrains for evaluation – and the EPA/MDEQ should encourage this !!!


Call it Citizen Science, call it whatever your heart desires, it needs to be done because the Great Lakes are FRESHWATER – the one thing , in extremely short supply,  on this entire planet.

FRESHWATER is NOT infinite, that idiotic saying of Dilution is the Solution never really worked and needs to be thrown away – forever.  The Chemicals linger, persist, and never go away. The pollution via plastic, pharmaceuticals, petroleum manufacturing, etc., etc are always constant threats to millions of citizens on a daily basis in the Great Lakes region.


Clinton River crest Wednesday morning

It would appear the Clinton River reached its crest of 16 ft. Pay close attention to the speed that the Clinton River doubled in height ( within 24 hours).


PLEASE keep in mind how the Macomb County neighborhoods connect to the Red Run and other tributaries of the Clinton River ( via the street stormdrains).  When those tributaries are full, so is your neighborhood piping connected to it.


The flood warning is NOT over, it continues on parts of the Clinton River ………….

New Warning

Update Clinton River flooding

The Clinton River continues to rise during Tuesdays rainfall

Clinton 2

Location of the gauge where the tributaries merge together

Gauge Location


The stormwater from Oakland County 12TownsDrain adds to the Clinton River volume during hard prolonged rainfall events.  Rain always involves Intensity & Duration.