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Water Color

August 23, 2011

Macomb County completed more than 800 investigations in 2010
for their IDEP (Illicit Discharge Elimination Program).
By investigating and correcting the discharge
of untreated wastewater, waterways are greatly improved.

Water Color from discharge drains into creeks, streams, rivers, etc.

Gray Water – water appears milky and may have a
rotten egg smell and/or soap odor.
There may also be an appearance of cottony slime.

Possible Cause of Pollution
Human causes may be illicit connections of domestic wastewater
to storm drain systems; untreated septic system discharge;
illegal boat discharge; and storm water runoff from parking lots.

Gray Water


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Brown Water – water ranging in color from light-tea
to chocolate milk; it may have a rotten egg odor

Possible Cause of Pollution
Human causes may be eroded, disturbed soils from
construction sites, animal enclosures,
destabilized stream banks and erosion.

Brown Water


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Multi-Color Water – various or uniform color,
other than brown, green or gray.
Petroleum based products produce a
rainbow sheen on top of the water.

Possible Cause of Pollution
Human causes may be oil or hazardous waste spill,
paint and paint equipment rinsed into storm drains
or into failing septic systems.
To confirm a petroleum sheen, disrupt it with a stick.
Petroleum sheens don’t easily break apart
and quickly flow back together

Multi_color Water


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Green Water – ranging from blue green
to bright green color and may impart odor.
Conditions typically occur from May through October.

Possible Cause of Pollution
Human causes may be over-fertilizing lawns,
boat discharges, septic systems, agriculture operations,
or discharging poorly treated wastewater.

Green Water


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dry weather pipe discharge
Discharges during dry weather conditions may include
odors such as sewage, gasoline, or chemical smells;
colored water and excessive vegetation around outfall pipes.

Possible Cause of Pollution
Human causes may be an illegal connection to the
storm water drainage system; cross connections
between sewer lines and storm drain system;
laundry discharges and/or basement floor drains
connected to storm rain system.

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