The GLWA needs to make Metropolitan Detroit a shining example of Sewage Pollution improvement and Fresh Water Protection !!!!
New York Times –
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the country needs to spend __$384 billion__ by 2030 to continue providing clean drinking water to all Americans.
The American Water Works , puts the tab
__ at $1 trillion__
in new spending in the next 25 years.
Excerpts from article :
EPA will conduct “inspection audit” of Detroit water treatment plant By SARAH CWIEK
In a statement issued Wednesday, the EPA confirmed plans to do a “performance inspection audit” next month.
An NPDES inspection manual describes a performance audit inspection as a “more resource-intensive review” of an NPDES permit-holder that “evaluates the permittee’s procedures for sample collection, flow measurement, chain-of-custody, laboratory analysis, data compilation, reporting, and other areas related to the self-monitoring program.”
Detroit’s wastewater treatment plant has a history of repeated NPDES violations.
The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department was under federal court oversight from 1977-2013 for those violations.
DWSD no longer operates the drinking and wastewater treatment plants, though. The new, regional GLWA – Great Lakes Water Authority, which emerged from Detroit’s bankruptcy process, took over operations at the start of this year.
In October 2015, some current and former treatment plant employees said that retirements and layoffs, especially of technical staff over the past three years, threatened water quality and worker safety.
The EPA was not clear about what prompted the audit plans, however.
Representatives for the MDEQ, GLWA and DWSD did not immediately return requests for comment.
Interesting times for the GLWA, the DWSD, and the Oakland Macomb Interceptor system.
Anyone that gives it a moment of thought quickly realizes that Ski Resorts on a MOUNTAIN should be paying a massive premium to pump huge amounts of clean drinkable water thru a snow gun.
Nov 13, 2014
#120 – The number of snow guns at Pine Knob ski resort.
$7,500-$10,000 The 2014 cost to run snow guns per eight-hour shift overnight at the ski resort
Many nearby resorts exist and they should shoulder the burden of cost for water usage in the winter.
Sure we have huge amounts of fresh, clean, drinkable water available – just don’t stick ordinary residents with the bills for others.
Hopefully the GLWA does a massive re-think on who uses the most water, and charges accordingly, instead of discounting, or giving breaks towards them while residential taxpayers get stuck with infrastructure costs.
Industry needs to pay its fair share of StormWater and Sewer needs (roof, parking lot, etc runoff) in addition to clean, processed, drinkable tap water usage. Perhaps some need to re-evaluate a Grey water recycling solution.
“We are pleased that Governor Snyder sees the importance of Michgian’s winter travel and recreational activities,” says Steve Kershner, chairman of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association and Director of Snowsports at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire. “Winter travel accounts for nearly 1/3 of the $17.7 billion-a-year Michigan travel industry,” Kershner adds, noting that no matter where you live in the state, you are within a 2-hour drive of a ski area.
A recently published article concerning Global Water Infrastructure in the World’s major cities speaks of TRILLIONS of dollars needed the next 15 years.
The USA better wise up rapidly and start funding Water Infrastructure in a big way within its major cities.
Section 10.2 (quote excerpt)
Cities face the challenges to protect their citizens against water-related disasters (droughts and floods), to guarantee water availability and water quality, as well as to renew and upgrade their infrastructure in response to climate, demographic and economic trends (OECD 2015).
The cost of urban infrastructure is staggering. The UNEP (2013) estimates that for the period 2005–2030 about US$ 41 trillion is needed to refurbish the old (in mainly developed country
cities) and build new (mainly in the developing country cities) urban infrastructures, where the cost of the water infrastructure (US$ 22.6 trillion) has been estimated at more than that for energy, roads, rail, air and seaports put together.
The wastewater infrastructure is responsible for the largest share of these 22.6 trillion. The report also warns that ‘Sooner or later, the money needed to modernise and expand the world’s urban infrastructure will have to be spent. The demand and need are too great to ignore. The solutions may be applied in a reactive, ad hoc, and ineffective fashion, as they have been in the past, and in that case the price tag will probably be higher than US$ 40 trillion.’
To support projected economic growth between now and 2030, McKinsey (2013) has estimated that the investments on global infrastructure need to increase by nearly 60 % from the US$ 36 trillion spent on infrastructure over the past 18 years to US$ 57 trillion over the next 18 years. This is approximately 3.5 % of anticipated global GDP.
These figures do not account for the cost of addressing the large maintenance and renewal backlogs and infrastructure deficiencies in many economies (McKinsey 2013).
Water goals have big costs but also big returns. Conservative estimates of global investments in a post-2015 water for sustainable development and growth agenda have been estimated (UN
Between 1.8 and 2.5% of the annual global GDP is needed for implementation of water-related sustainable development goals.
This would also generate a minimum US$ 3,108 billion in additional economic, environmental and social benefits, i.e. a net annual benefit of US$ 734 billion.
I recently attended a Webinar to learn more about Ecoli in Michigan waterways. The state needs to really crack down on Septic fields and Septic tank inspections.
I think funding needs go towards more DNA testing after a big rainstorm. Differentiate the Goose & Duck poop, from the Dog & Cat poop, both of which are NOT human poop. An Ecoli shutdown of a beach should be justified and trusted. Animals exist and folks need to adjust a bit. Pet owners need to pick up after pets, period.
Farmers with animals need to protect the waterways from contamination. People should also protect themselves while at the beach or paddling a canoe/kayak.
View a recording at
Slides can be viewed
Understand that suburban development has led to highly “flashy” conditions in local tributaries, open drains, and rivers. Water levels rise very quickly due to runoff from all the massive parking lots, industrial parks, residential roofing, driveways and streets. It also flows quickly as storm runoff is channeled to lower elevations.
Combined Sewer Overflows and Sanitary Sewer Overflows are not going to dissappear from our lives, until huge amounts of money $$$$ from federal or private entities occurs. I’ve seen improvements over 50 years but I also think bandaids were put on situations needing actual true surgery.
Southeast Michigan has big problems. The region needs to drop the racial overtones, void the artificial County boundaries, and focus on the task at hand – moving an enormous amount of StormWater – without mixing human poop into the flow !
Build infrastructure regardless of a few nimby complainers, for the greater good, of the Fresh Water Great Lakes of Michigan.
If someone lived on a mountain, they would pay a higher fee for drinking water, since it has to be mechanically pumped/pushed up the elevation. A similar scenario exists for those living a very far distance away from the treatment facility.
Most of the metropolitan suburbs of Detroit get their drinking water from low places like the Detroit River, Lake St Clair, and Lake Huron.
Places like Rochester Hills and Shelby are at a much higher elevation, almost 900 feet.
To find elevation in your neighborhood, use the Macomb County FlexViewer
Once there you can customize layers for topography showing elevation contours.
I did a quick scan through the 44 pages of recent meeting minute notes released on the GLWA webpage.
A few items caught my interest. Distance and Elevation will play a role regarding water rates.
The IT infrastructure portion caught my eye. Sandy Jurek was Macomb County’s IT person for COMTEC. If my memory is intact, the COMTEC system was delivered late, due a infrastructure problem regarding cables on telephone poles. Hmmmmm…http://www.macombdaily.com/government-and-politics/20140802/135-million-county-command-center-still-not-ready
Let us hope the IT infrastructure with SCADA is secure and correctly monitors volume, flow, etc. to properly charge all customers, wholesale, retail, industrial, commercial and residential
The Red Run Drain blog received 18,000 views in 2015.
Thank you for taking the time to look at the pictures, read the articles and share with others.
I welcome comments, questions, concerns, and if I get something completely wrong, tell me. I’ll gladly update and fix mistakes.
Hopefully 2016 has plenty to write about, question, and dwell upon.
The monetary consequence of discharging unprocessed or partially processed wastewater & stormwater into local rivers and lakes was recently reviewed in a report :
Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority (LEEP).
– Items like property values, recreation, tourism, etc were studied over several years involving HABS – harmful algae blooms.
– Over 30 years, the value of lost benefits is estimated at more than $1.3 Billion dollars.
– The International Joint Commission study used the Canadian and U.S. portions of western Lake Erie.
– “Overall, the total economic impact from the 2011 bloom was based on estimates of $16 million for diminished property values, $20 million for lost tourism revenue, $31 million for lost recreational opportunities, and $4 million for water treatment. For 2014, the estimate was slightly lower, at $65 million.”
- The cummulative effect is staggering with yearly incidences and occurances taking a toll on society; and the environment.
From the pages of Time : Money
Consumer Products comes a
story concerning falsified claims of
Flushable Wipes that simply do not break down into little pieces.
They simply ARE NOT Flushable.
“The Federal Trade Commission just announced a settlement with moist toilet tissue producer Nice-Pak that prevents the company from continuing to claim its products are actually flushable, at least until it proves those claims through testing.”
– The products involved include Costco’s Kirkland Signature Moist Flushable Wipes, CVS’s Flushable Cleansing Wipes, Target’s Up & Up Flushable Moist Wipes, and BJ’s Family & Toddler Moist Wipes.
There have been numerous stories lately regarding the convenient wet towlets clogging pipes, causing havoc, chaos and clogs. To put it simply, don’t flush them ! Throw them out in the regular trash. The claim is tooo good to be really true.
Transfer of debt approved by bondholders and judge. The GLWA will take over the suburbs of Detroit for TapWater and Sewer rates in 2016.
An article in Bond Buyer written by Yvette Shields on November 24, 2015 had interesting conclusions regarding water and sewer in Metropolitan Detroit Michigan.
The GLWA and DWSD are very close to finalizing paperwork as 2016 rolls around. Who pays what is layed out in the article.
It also hinted at Detroit still facing a possible Chapter 9 scenario in the future.
People should be able to view public infrastructure data like neighborhood sewer systems and drinking water systems. GIS viewers let the public see data already accumulated by government information systems.
The recent concerns over tap water in Flint along with numerous flooding scenarios around Warren have people wondering about the systems buried underground.
Some GIS data is public, available on the internet, like the Oakland Macomb Interceptor project.
Often wastewater systems involve multi-county connections, underneath the county borders on a map.
GIS data, layers, and viewers are crucial to government transparency of infrastructure projects.
Now that elections have ended, everything has settled down,
and the new faces have taken over,
contact them with your concerns.
Oakland County (just over Dequindre Road) plays a BIG role in local drainage issues of Macomb County. Major sewer lines are called Interceptors. One of the largest is the OMID (oakland macomb interceptor drain)- flowing through Warren. Warren should have free access to the Interceptor, making up for the GWK Basin Red Run open channel eyesore.
Then there is the issue of paying for tapwater via the GLWA agreement. Which water intake will your bill go towards ? Hopefully ALL the cities will get EQUAL representation , regardless of the physical boundaries of the Counties.
Educate yourself on the sewer and water districts so you do not get hosed by slick proposals and political doublespeak.
I think ski mountains (at high elevations) and far distances, should pay a high premium for drinking water. I also think Sewer rates should be based on impervious surface area (rooftops, driveway, parking lots, etc) so that massive commercial/ industrial complexes pay a majority of the operational costs.
Get to know who represents your household and exactly what they are going to do for you in 2016.
We all need fresh clean drinking water, and count on the toilet flushing our waste away.
County and city planners make decisions every day based on elevation of property. The area by Dawson Drive and Ryan Road at the Red Run Bridge in Warren Michigan has been a low spot for 60+ years.
The Red Run has a large flat concrete slab by Dequindre Road.
Drawings show it at 597 ft
A mere 18 ft of StormWater brings the Red Run to the 100 year “floodplain” level of 615 ft.
– Notice the actual 48 inch diameter stormsewer is buried at about 610ft (below the floodplain)
Old stormdrains leak when overfilled, connections get mis-aligned from continual Bridge vibration, etc, etc.
So when the ground is ultra- saturated with Rain, and the pipes are full and surcharging along with leaking like sieves – the water finds its way into people’s basements.
It’s easy to see how stormdrains quickly overwhelm the sewer drains causing chaos.
The City of Warren has plans to rehabilitate Dawson Drive by Ryan Road. Residents at the lowest elevation should get backflow/checkvalves installed at city expense. Numerous flooding incidents have occurred at this exact site, City Council has heard residents complain over many years, the Mayor and County Government know it occurs as well. It is not a one time, act of nature, idiosyncracy. It is multiple, repeated, and far too often for residents to endure poor city planning.
The houses by Dawson and Ryan are at a low elevation, by the Bridge.
Perhaps some dredging needs to occur – under the bridge – making the channel deeper, at that point.
The GLWA and Inter-County DRAIN boards know full well how often the 12TownsDrain facility aka GWK Retention Basin discharges CSO into the Red Run and ClintonRiver.
Residents deserve a break from flooded basements – with the city paying the expense to fix the situation – especially if the concrete is going to be torn up anyways. Time to plan, strategize, discuss, and permanently fix a situation once and for all in 2016.
Let’s be entirely honest with everyone and not insult their intelligence. The Water ShutOff program in Detroit is a joke. It is not taken seriously by anyone.
Tap water and the accompanying
sewage-disposal is damn cheap.
On the order of approx. $ 2.00 per day,
– for a majority of households.
The cost of a doughnut & coffee.
Sure, some single mom has 6 kids, but that responsibility is on the parents (plural),
both of them.
Detroit government officials need to stop the joke of Water Shutoffs.
If they were truly serious,
they would CUT the pipe,
WELD in a plug.
Force the issue of reality. Drinking water is not free in USA. Theft of utilities is a crime.
Anyone can buy a Water Key.
They are readily available. People simply ILLEGALLY “” turn “” the water back on;
after it has been turned off.
You might have to scroll down the channel 7 news page to see this video :
About 90% of Shutoffs are back on and functioning the next day.
No bullshit, facts, do the math.
11803 / 12758 = 92 %
Detroit is behind in collections to the
tune of $ 68 Million dollars.
Detroit is now completely on its own with no support from suburbs
Water Keys can be bought locally
How will Detroit hold its end of the contract with the newly formed GLWA ?
Time to get down to reality and stop playing games before it really escalates out of control.
Detroit needs politicians with backbone and integrity who don’t break down due to media hype, protests, etc. Stand firm, stand true to what actually exists now; not some “” wish”” of what might be nice in fairy tales.
I wrote about this a few months ago when the GLWA first released the “national” search for a new CEO
A big part of the GLWA equation involves bondholders
Click to enlarge –
Is your neighborhood being monitored for wastewater and stormwater flows ? How would you know ?
Does the residential community have a set of unique meters – compared to the commercial or industrial parks ?
Have you ever had a discussion with your local City Council regarding what the meters read, the analysis, or conclusions drawn from the data ?
What if you use rainbarrels extensively for flushing toilets, doing laundry, irrigating a garden ?
Then TapWater INBOUND for drinks does not equal wastewater outbound in the sewer , eh ?
Big house with lots of roof area, massive patio, and large concrete driveway has more runoff than small house with massive front and rear lawn !
Are you being charged correctly ?
Who decides for you, local city, the GLWA, or Macomb County ?
Will your water and sewer rates be designed and mandated according to which side of Dequindre Road your residence or business has been built ?
What happened to REGIONAL , as in all encompassing , both Counties ?
Did you see you “anything” on a MACOMB COUNTY website, social media site ? If you did, send me the link. Leave a comment.
I hate getting news from a county where I do not live. Who did you vote for…..?
Where do you go for the latest, up-to-date info on Water issues in Macomb County — and how does Oakland County affect what happens here ?
Who leads with info, transparency, data – and who follows ……?
Does it truly make sense for Macomb County to go entirely solo , as a unique entity, for a tap water system ?
If there is bargaining power, as a mass unit, with dozens of communities with a unified front, does it not make sense to be REGIONAL ? A cumulative effect of Oakland and Macomb Counties, together ?
Should the Madison Heights residents on one side of Dequindre Road – pay a different fee – than the Sterling Heights residents – for the EXACT same tap water ??
Is Macomb County looking north to the KWA drinking water supply ?
I find it ludicrous that Anthony Marrocco wants Macomb to go solo. I see it as a power grab , from the Drain Commissioner.
Think long and hard about the idiocy of using Dequindre Road as the dividing line between pricing tap water in Metro Detroit.
— The Sewage is definitely InterCounty flowing between ALL 3 Counties, and that will not change anytime soon.
If it IS based on elevation, distance, pumping – than OAKLAND County – should pay the most for tap water.
It has multiple sites at 1200ft above sea level – like Pine Knob and Mt. Holly.
How does Warren fit in; since it is close to Detroit, YET the city of Warren has its own Waste Water Treatment Plant. Our water bills are quite reasonable right now.
We all live in 2015 , the present.
MetroDetroit cities are built of concrete, steel, asphalt, blacktop along with many NON-natural items. We are quite removed from nature on a day-to-day basis.
The oil companies have put their pipelines under rivers and lakes for decades. Not exactly new news to anyone paying attention lately.
WHY does everyone accept the #sewerdistricts as they currently are ? Because of a creek, stream, river, a watershed, the topography of the earth, natural boundaries ?
There is nothing natural about stormwater flow in our modern society – with 2 million square ft. warehouse roofs and parking lots.
We live among huge industrial manufacturing complexes covering 100’s of acres,
often under one flat metal roof.
Think about it.
We make toilet water go exactly
where we want it to go, the
We make massive parking lots
dry by forcing the puddles of rain into steel grates with underground piping towards major rivers.
Why is “”your”” sewer district drawn the way it is ? Can a sewer district be Inter-County ? We already have many Inter-County drains, with special drainboards. A sewer district can be gerrymandered by Corporate lobbying, political pressure, or antiquated 1960’s planning strategies ?
Have you challenged your city council, your GLWA rep, the county executive, drain commissioner, etc. on exactly how sewer rates are calculated ? It should not be a mystery. Data from stormflow meters shows the corporate burden of responsibility, based on roof size, parking lot size.
The Oakland Mall area is a great example of acre, upon acre, of roofs, parking lots, and all that rainwater has to go – somewhere.
Warren gets a tremendous amount of stormwater flow from the GWK District in Oakland County. Why is OakPark in the GWK district ? Numerous similar examples exist.
Hmmmmm, makes you wonder;
in a modern society of technology
and engineering abilities.
The City of Warren waste water treatment plant has many challenges ahead to gain proper compliance and permits from MDEQ and EPA for clean water.
Hopefully the overflows of
“”blended effluent” will cease.
How the newly formed GLWA acts on Macomb County’s behalf is a mystery. Stormwater and wastewater from OAKLAND County flow through Warren.
Will the water discharged to the ClintonRiver via RedRun really get cleaned up in the next 2 years ?
Heavy rains have caused chaos, on numerous occasions, multiple times, the past 10 years.
If our wonderful beautiful City of Warren Michigan is to HOST the massive Interceptors Drains Project — why should Warren pay to tap into it , eh, reps at GLWA ?
Warren is at a much lower elevation than Oakland County cities. We truly do HAVE our own stormwater issues to contend with.
Warren already copes with outdated antiquated CSO flow via 12TownsDrain aka Oakland Kuhn Basin into Red Run flow of Clinton River .
Oxford flow into Warren – oh yeah !