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Warren Macomb and GIS drain maps

November 19, 2012

GIS is the future and Spatial Thinking will become mainstream.
The old antiquated “linear” thinking mode in Warren and Macomb County, MI
is quickly being transformed via tech progress.

A geographic information system (GIS) lets us humans use our
visual sense combined with our analytical brain to get a better
handle on interpreting and understanding the world around us.
Making data “visual” reveals trends, relationships, and patterns
easily missed by ordinary flat graphing methods.

Storm Drains and Sewer Drains around Warren,Michigan are going to GIS sytems.

GIS Drain Mapping Macomb County

GIS Drain Mapping Macomb County

Project manager on the USACE-Macomb County Drain Mapping PAS Study
is Katerina Kollar via the United States Army Corps Engineers.
(PAS) = Planning Assistance for the States
Email :
Phone: 313-226-2099

The 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations bill passed in July 2009
approving $200,000 for the Macomb County Drain Mapping and Database.
You can thank Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin for their support.

The concept of managing info geographically goes way beyond a
paper map of yesteryear – all you can do with a paper map
is stick an arrow on it with a note, creating a mess of notes.
A virtual geographic map has 100’s of layers of info for 1 specific dot.
Some call GIS the act of “unlocking data trapped in paper”.
Record Keeping via work orders, pictures, reports, etc. can exist
with 1 specific dot on a virtual map transforming it into an info system.
Decisions about a location will be done with real-time point/click access.
GIS allows the Ask, Acquire, Examine, Analyze, Act, scenario to take place.

Traditional Drain Map

Traditional Drain Map

Traditional Flat Paper Map

Traditional Flat Paper Map

The City of Warren in Macomb County has literally thousands of manholes
with miles of sanitary sewer gravity main lines and much of it is antiquated.
GIS can easily aid staff to identify/remedy problems and track maintenance.
The days of old using an Excel Spreadsheet will fade into the past.

Municipalities have Water Permit Requirements regulated by Michigan DEQ.
One of the requirements is that the holder of the permit needs to assess
and implement programs to clean and maintain the drainage pipes.
Slow population growth and a withering tax base make strategy paramount,
often resulting in a reactive approach versus a proactive approach.
Municipalities are constantly being asked to do more with less,
and GIS aids in the efficient use of limited finite resources.
In the future, teams could use an iPad to log directly from the field.
GIS also vastly enhances inter-departmental communication as well as
inter-county and regional communications via a common shared platform.

MACOMB County GIS in action

ArcGIS Explorer Desktop is a free GIS viewer

The City of Warren on ArcGIS, add layers as you wish.

The State of Michigan also has a shared data library

Will ordinary civilian residents be able to see GIS layers
created by the USACE for local governments to use ?
I really don’t know that answer, it’s a very touchy issue.
Obtaining a local government map of sanitary sewer and storm drains
for even a small section of a local neighborhood is very “difficult”.
Water infrastructure is deemed a vital human service and must be guarded
against damage or destruction threatening public health and environment.

Residents should understand where ALL that rainwater and sewage go
in an open transparent society of information with GIS systems.

Learn more about GIS here

The EPA EnviroMapper is a great resource as well

Warren Michigan EPA EnviroMapper

Warren Michigan EPA EnviroMapper


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