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Warren’s Infiltration and Inflow issue

June 2, 2012

“I & I” is a common expression for Infiltration and Inflow.
Ground water infiltrates aging pipes through pipe defects
involving misaligned joints, cracks, fractures, and holes.
In wet weather, inflow enters pipes via any rain water connection.
All this “”excess water”” reduces capacity to transport wastewater,
from residents homes and can cause backups quite easily.
At the plant, the infiltrated water & inflow must also be treated,
adding an unnecessary expense to the city.

Warrens dirty secret

“The City of Warren has separate sanitary and storm sewer systems.”
BUT – under the heading Wet Weather Flow Management
“City of Warren also experiences considerable infiltration and inflow
into the sanitary sewers, which could increase the normal daily flow
of about 30 mgd to over 150 mgd. ” mgd = millions of gallons per day

Folks, that is a 5 fold increase in the amount of water due to rain events

As seen in the 2003 Detroit Water and Sewerage Department report

A $1.5-million settlement was paid for 164 households that
had basement flooding in a 1998 sewer backup in Warren.
Detroit-based law firm, Macuga, Liddle & Dubin filed another
lawsuit against Warren on Oct. 17, 2011 in Macomb County Circuit Court.

The City of Warren has a big, big problem and they know it all too well.
Residents have an extreme difficult time getting information about drainage,
and The City of Warren’s Insurance Agency won’t return phone calls about it.
Accessing manholes and drainage pipes can be construed as acts of terror
so residents can’t even get true elevations, gradients, sizing, etc.
Warren has indeed stacked the deck so you can’t fight City Hall easily.

Overloaded drain system

Overloaded drain system

An eight-inch sanitary sewer can handle residential
wastewater flow from up to 200 homes, but only a
few sump pumps, operating at full capacity will
overload this same eight-inch line.

2011 Infiltration Budget

2011 Infiltration Budget

The City of Warren desperately wants to tap into the Interceptor Project

This is all a bit of Catch 22 for residents .
A resident cannot see the “schematic diagrams” for drains in their
neighborhood due to Homeland Security Paranoia.

How can a resident prove to a court or any agency that
the water table in their location has serious issues from
lack of governmental maintenance/replacement or perhaps
even poor design – they can’t; – and residents suffer.

The facts show the City of Warren knows about this serious issue;
has gotten successfully sued in the past for drainage issues and
is now facing another class action lawsuit.

Warren Waste Water Treatment Plant was originally constructed in 1959.
Within the budget is The Capital Improvement Fund earmarked for
replacement of water mains and sanitary sewers.

The fact that Warren is built upon massive Clay and Shale deposits
doesn’t help the drainage issues one bit for residents.

Perhaps this is why Macomb County officials are quoted as saying:
“”””Charles Hill, acting Department of Environmental Quality supervisor
for the Southeast Michigan District Office, said that sewer systems
that don’t maintain a separate line for rainwater and one for sewage,
such as in Warren and Livonia, can have problems with rainwater
causing overflows carrying sewage.”””””

My gut tells me when 2 different sources claim Warren has a
severe Wet Weather Rain Storm Crisis brewing , it’s probably true.
This isn’t the nonsense of – “”Act of God”” – once in a lifetime rainstorms,
it’s a pretty consistent “”Oh Oh, we didn’t design properly”” for the region.

The newspapers and local media simply don’t report this stuff.
It gets buried and hidden away, with orders not to speak of it.
Now it’s out in the open and perhaps residents can understand it better.

For the record – I’ve already contacted:
Environmental Health Services – Macomb County Health Department.
They don’t regulate or do infiltration studies on sewers.
So when it backs up into your home, they won’t help.

I also contacted Charles Hill, acting DEQ supervisor
for the Southeast Michigan District Office, no response , yet.

I’m hoping a local media outlet like channel 2, 4, 7 picks up this story
and runs with it, digging deeper than I can with limited resources.
Former Warren Mayor – Mark Steenbergh – is the public relations arm
of the massive sewer division servicing 11 Macomb County communities
and involving the Interceptor Project.


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