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Search Red Run Drain Blog

The blog is fast approaching 500 postings and has been active since 2011. Some might have trouble finding a specific search word within the Red Run Drain Blog written on WordPress

Google has a very specific manner to restrict your search to the website

Let’s use an example. Maybe you wanted to search for keyword “Elevation

All you have to do is type  Elevation

so it goes KEYWORD  a space – then SITE:  for the webpage


This will work for any search term or keyword you could imagine

Another example might be the term “USACE” for the United States Army Corp Engineers, who usually oversee and Federal project or monies spent on the Red Run

You would type in the Google search area  USACE





Perplexing volume Red Run Drain

The open channel Red Run Drain starts at Dequindre Road in Warren, slightly north of 13 Mile Road, across the street from the Red Oaks Dog Park.  The hard part is determining “what” exactly is measured or reported on the Department Environmental Quality webpage.  Is it strictly the volume of screened and sprayed sewage overflow (CSO) – or – everything from the GWK Retention Basin (RTB)  outlet into the ditch ?  A computer model was created a while back


It is easy to see multiple items in red print such as the Henry Graham Drain, North Drain Pipe, Pollution Control Facility Outlet Weir, South Drain Pipe and Walker Relief Drain. All of these empty onto a concrete slab at elevation of 597 ft above sea level for the open ditch. The bottom of the Ryan Road bridge is about 620 ft,  and the Red Run has kissed it a few times in recent years. The Red Run is often 20 feet deep and 120 feet wide along its 8 mile long path to the Clinton River.

GWK Basin diagram.png

It’s easy to see how the drains match the natural flow of the creeks and streams

Flood Map Oakland Macomb.png

Now lets see what the DEQ webpage reported back in 2011 for the Red Run Drain. Notice each event is labeled as a combined sewer overflow (CSO). Warren has its own WWTP and it is completely separate and independent of the SouthOaklandCountySewageDisposalSystem (SOCSDS) or 12TownsDrain


Lately everything is reported as a RTB event for the GWK Retention Basin, but I saw a report from the GLWA saying the “CSO discharge was going to be separate from the RTB”. This is all a bit perplexing to me and I’m sure most mayors + city council members don’t get it either.  Surely the sewer charges and stormwater charges for the cities involved are MEASURED by some gauges, calculations, procedure, etc. ?  How much volume is too much for the Red Run Drain to handle ? Open areas keep getting developed with more and more runoff existing today, then existed 10 years ago.  Is it all just a good guess based on a model with many assumptions, caveats, constraints, surrounding it ?


Basin Discharge CSO.png

It would appear a large amount of stormwater water volume does NOT go through the screening area and bleach spray process as it is just rain off parking lots, roofs, streets, etc.

North and South Drains.png

Forty-two major storm drains were disconnected and reconnected from 12 different towns to the North and South drains. ANY pollutants on the ground, concrete, blacktop, pavement, parking lots, industrial facilities, or items poured into a storm drain; ends up in the Red Run Drain – untreated.

In the past, existing storm drains discharging into the basin were removed and rerouted, providing more volume to control combined sewer flows. System storage was increased by 30 million gallons to 124 million gallons.  During a prolonged rain storm, the basin will fill via gravity flow and jump over the weir continually, until the storm stops. Almost all of 14 communities over a drainage area of 24,500 acres – are upstream of the Red Run Drain.

Determining exactly what the water volume flow coming out into the open channel ditch into Warren is a perplexing question. Rainfall has tremendous variability , involving Intensity and Duration.  One side of a neighborhood could get hammered hard while the other side merely got a few sprinkles. Perhaps the newer technology SCADA equipment – (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) will aid in getting a more accurate handle on it all.

How much more water can the Red Run Drain handle before property damage occurs to residents of Warren and people living downstream on the Clinton River  ?  Honestly I don’t know the answer to that question – but I’ll continue to pursue it.

The Macomb County Drain Commissioner will have a lot to deal with come 2017

Alternative pavement

The hot topic lately is how to efficiently deal with stormwater runoff. There is a ton of hype for permeable, pervious, and porous alternatives to traditional pavement. At the StormWater Summit 2016 held at Lawrence Technological University October 7th there was a presentation about the harsh reality of maintenance costs regarding various storm water friendly pavements and associated solutions.

Creating areas with native plants to ease runoff issues sounds great and wonderful. After they are installed, they require maintenance. Someone has to pull the weeds which inevitably occur. Who pays to have it done, how many weeds are acceptable  ?  If rain gardens are used extensively in a large city like Warren (35 square miles) , the maintenance cost needs to be added to the city budget. Then there is the issue of mulch wood chips. Quite often the mulch pieces float away, into the grates of the stormdrains, causing another maintenance headache. I am NOT knocking the green initiatives, just presenting a side of the coin people might have easily overlooked.

Rain Garden Example.png

Creating a parking lot that lets the rain get into the ground instead of the stormdrain pipes has great appeal, but it too comes with maintenance issues, costs, budgetary concerns.

Porous Pavement Maintenance.png

There are various systems on the market to accommodate very heavy industrial equipment like semi-trucks, tanks, cranes, etc. along with anything in between, but they have pros/cons as well.  With some solid brainstorming BEFORE items are implemented, solutions to stormwater runoff can work nicely. It pays to do a deep dive first, gather info and learn from prior installation sites, then proceed with the projects.

Parjana and StormWater Summit 2016

A local Michigan company, PARJANA has an innovative solution to stormwater runoff – prevent it from happening by efficiently utilizing the open areas all around us. They’ll be at the upcoming 2016 Stormwater Summit at LTU (Lawrence Technological University) this Friday – October 7 – on the Southfield Campus. Come take a look.



Parjana has a patented product that takes full advantage of the Vadose Zone


The EGRP (energy passive groundwater recharge product) aids the infiltration of rainfall into the soil, thus improving large areas where precipitation puddled, ponded, or ran off. It’s a paradigm shift, a new thought process, to be proactive concerning stormwater. The EGRP has 5 tubular channels that can be extruded into varying lengths to accommodate various site conditions.




Instead of a developer paving a parking lot with asphalt, or pouring concrete, funneling all the rain into drains and flowing it “somewhere else” – The EGRP products can be installed FIRST, in the ground, and a Porous Parking Lot Surface put on top, resulting in zero additional strain to existing underground stormwater systems.  The EGRP products are also extremely useful for golf courses, large open grassy fields, etc.  to offset the devastating stormwater effect from all the existing impervious surface all around us.

Connect with Parjana® on social media!

Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn Parjana | YouTube | Google+

LinkedIn Greg McPartlin


Max Volume of Red Run ? 

What is the max volume allowed by law to entire the Red Run open stormdrain channel ?   If someone has that number or court case, please comment on this story. 

Did the geniuses who pushed the Green GO button on I-75 Expansion ever visit the Red Run at Ryan Road AFTER a hard rain  ???   

It rained a bit at midnight as I fell asleep in NorthWest Warren on Wednesday night September 28th. 
The odd thing about the weather,  it came the other direction,  starting in the East and going to the West due to a Low pressure system modifying the wind direction. 

Curious to see how the rain affected the Clinton River via the Red Run and other tributaries. So I checked the USGS gauges. 

At noon Thursday,  the news repirts claimed residents were under Flash Flood and Food Watch adviseries. 

This is what the Red Run,  flowing under the Ryan Road Bridge,  looked like around noon on Thursday September 29

How much more do our local politicians and drain commissioner think they can cram into this drain ? 

When will someone stand up to LBrooksP and say NO !   Push the stormwater from I-75 expansion INTO the basement and businesses of OaklandCounty.  Let Oakland FEEL the pain,  every rain,  until they go insane.  They can’t just dump it over Dequindre for Warren residents to deal with. Time to start saying NO and FIGHT BACK.  

Quicker Ecoli Testing

By using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction test (qPCR), lab workers can look for a specific DNA, and get Ecoli results in four hours.

Because the test focuses on DNA,the lab can differentiate the waterfowl poop,from the dog poop, and the human poop.

A big part of Ecoli testing involves where the sample originates. Ecoli clings to wet beach sand. Each sand particle has many cracks and crevices, ideal for bacteria to attach. Taking a sample of water, with hip waders, 20 ft from the shoreline – will show a completely different set of Ecoli results.

Early in the morning, with NO ONE at the beach,the sand lays flat, undisturbed, and peaceful. Add 1,000’s of people and kids,the sand is whipped-up,mixing with the water.

Which sampling method do you trust yields the best results for your family ? Educate yourself so no one can fool you with the test results. It is your tax dollar at work afterall. 

More info :

Low tech sewer flow

Our stormwater and sewer pipes function primarily on gravity flow. No energy expenditure,  no moving parts,  basically set and forget. The guts of the system is low tech. 

A simple “blockage” strategically placed in a large pipe can divert flow. This dam is called a weir. 

A weir dam functions everyday,  all times of day,  never needing to be turned on or off – it just exists in the pipe.

The 14 Oakland County cities that take part in the GWK Retention Basin – all flow into one spot.  The WEIR dam determines what gets diverted,  and what flows over it. It is all dependant on the rainfall. 

It is a fact,  we are getting more rain than we did in the past. Engineering based on outdated historical logs, now miss the mark,  fail,  can’t accomodate the storms. 

Excerpt :
“Climate Central’s analysis of more than 3,000 rain gauges nationwide shows that heavy downpours are happening more frequently than they did in the 1950s. We found that all but two of the Lower 48 states have seen an increase in the number of heavy downpours happening each year, on average,compared to the 1950s, and 28 states have seen at least a 25 percent increase in these heaviest events.
– With downpours projected to be even more frequent and intense as the world continues to warm, we can expect more of these costly and dangerous overflows for many years to come.”

Television Coverage

The story of combined sewer overflow into the Red Run and Clinton River onwards to Lake StClair is getting lots of attention. 

Tune into WXYZ Channel 7 to see the story broadcast on television. 

I-75 and Red Run Drain

Where will all that stormwater from a new lane on I-75 go  ? 

Well into the Red Run of course  !

Plastics in Open Channel Drains

I’m a firm believer that an area that looks like a garbage dump,  acts as a garbage dump. By that I mean people are more apt to dump a candy wrapper,  a bag from chips, etc. in an area that looks nasty – versus a pristine,  manicured,  well kept up spot.

We live in a society where plastic is all around us in everyday life.  It’s no coincidence it gets into our open channel stormwater drains. The Red Run has 54 MILES of open drainage. 

Now add in the Clinton River tributaries,  as it all flows into Lake St.Clair. Washing Machine discharge contains synthetic fiber fragments from our clothing.  A combined sewer overflow event dumps them into the waterways. 

EXCERPTS from study

The physical properties of different plastics and the hydraulics of the different water bodies played a role in the study.

Micro-plastic particles are eaten by fish,  birds,  and other wildlife.  It is often mistaken for real food.  

Negatively buoyant fibers made of polymers such as polyester, rayon, nylon, and cellulose acetate may remain in suspension in the turbulent flow of a stormwater drain.

In contrast, many foams, films, and pellets/beads are made of positively buoyant polymers such as polystyrene, polyethylene,and polypropylene, which likely remain afloat in the lakes for some time, until biofouling or adsorption of minerals increases their density and causes them to sink.

The fibers enter the lakes but likely settle and accumulate in the lakebed sediments rather than at the surface.

This accumulation of microplastics in lakebed sediments may have important effects on benthic organisms as well as organisms at higher trophic levels that are reliant on benthic organisms.

This study characterized the quantity and morphology of floating micro- and macroplastics in 29 Great Lakes tributaries in six states under different land covers, wastewater effluent contributions, population densities, and hydrologic conditions. Tributaries were sampled three or four times each using a 333 μm mesh neuston net. Plastic particles were sorted by size, counted, and categorized fibers/lines, pellets/beads, foams, films, and fragments.

Plastics were found in all 107 samples, with a maximum concentration of 32 particles/m3 and a median of 1.9 particles/m3

Ninety-eight percent of sampled plastic particles were less than 4.75 mm in diameter and therefore considered microplastics.

How did Macomb prosper via Red Run ? 


Do people generally fill things from the Top or the Bottom ? Sounds like a simple question.  Direct,  straight forward,  to the point,  not terribly complicated.

When something is filled from the bottom, it is generally PUMPED in, under pressure. It has to –  to overcome the atmospheric pressure pushing down on it.

Does any city pressurize its street drainage system – of course not, that would be foolish you say ?

So when a simple gravity pipe attempts to connect to “a system” operating at 2 atmospheres or 20 psi – it can’t.  The water cannot enter.

When the Red Run is full,  at 20 to 30 ft deep, those little street drains are not effective, they are rendered useless. In fact they begin to BACKFILL,  to the manholes at street level,  leak, spill water into the dirt,  saturating it.

The water from the Red Run starts entering your neighborhood, saturating the ground very quickly, around leaky crumbling manhole connectors.

The Red Run is connected to the Storm sewers – when they leak,  it infiltrates your Floor Drain. No matter how much you pump,  the Red Run just overwhelms it.  As long as the Red Run is HIGH,  your basement is at risk.

Poor Engineering – A Blunder – A colossus ScrewUp,  yep,  yes, correct. I’ll give it to you straight. Without continual screaming for blood,  several pounds of flesh out of someone’s ass,  some firings, and basically a Revolution – it won’t change.  Pain needs to occur,  at a County and State level.  When they feel pain,  their personal paycheck on a chopping block ,  ousted to an unemployment line – then it gets fixed.

Why should any Macomb resident suffer so that Oakland County can EVADE  its own sewage problem ?  Hold  LBrooksP accountable for his actions. Make him tear up the streets,  seperate the sewers, and build a true WWTP,  within Oakland County borders.

No CSO fines from EPA

The reality is that the EPA does little to enforce CSO/SSO laws, does not collect fines,  and basically looks the other way.

The track record was clearly established in this 2005 independent report – and nothing has truly changed since  !

A review of EPA and state data suggests that many permittees have fallen far short of complying.

With no precedent of harsh,  strict, fine enforcement from the EPA, permitees did whatever they wanted the past 10 years.


Those numbers tell a clear story of the EPA having no real teeth. No state is afraid of a fine. Oakland and Macomb Counties have done little to stop  CSO/SSO overflows. They expect residents to “”live-with-it” ”

Michigan claims real time reporting of CSO/SSO events – but it’s a joke. Data doesn’t appear online for several days.  Throw in a major Holiday,  it could be almost a week, before the manual,  paper driven, data shows up.  Add in the InterCounty mis-communication of one hand not knowing what the other is doing.

Lack of notice about specific CSO occurrences and impacts,  leaves the public exposed to unnecessary risk; neighborhoods may not be aware that the nearby river or lakefront is overloaded with bacteria and unsafe to enter.

Macomb residents have to look to Oakland County – to see if the GWK Retention Basin had a CSO release.

Nothing will change without intense public outcry to get COURT ORDERS to seperate the sewers. Local Officials simply are not pro-active, they are reactive, after the sharks take a bite out of their ass. No pain, no action.

Property value and quality of life are HUGE motivating factors for families. When beaches are repeatedly closed,  basements get wet,  and streets are impassable – people get angry.

Oakland County is one of the richest in the entire nation.  How long will the rest of the state put up with their sloth,  noncaring,  selfish attitude toward their neighbors along Dequindre and 8 Mile ?

IF you have factual info of Oakland County paying an EPA fine for CSO/SSO release,  I would love to see it. Please leave a comment regarding the fine amount,  date of occurance,  and which facility was involved.





Financing Water

It seems one guy has influenced the funding of major water projects; more than others the past 25 years. He has been at the forefront of financing water and energy. Energy, what, yeah, it gets mixed in, believe it or not. Michael Curley has had the ear of the EPA and several presidents (plural).

I love his choices for the book cover. Coinage stacked on top of dirt, sprouting plants in forefront; solar panels and nuclear plant cooling towers in background. 

August 16,2016 Storm

A tremendous amount of rain is forced into underground pipes by many dozens of communities – and it ends up in the Clinton River. 

Think about 16+ feet of water,  over open channel spans of 50, 75, 100 feet across;  from Warren to Mt. Clemens. That’s a LOT of stormwater moving a lot of sediment into Lake StClair. 

Think about how many Bridges exist from Dequindre all the out to Moravian and towards Harley Ensign Marina. 

 ALL built to accomodate stormwater,  combined sewer overflow,  coming from places like Oak Park. – That’s 8 Mile and Greenfield rainwater,  diverted to LakeStClair via the Clinton River. Does that make logical sense to you,  a taxpayer,  a voter,  a homeowner ?

OVER 1/2 a Million Dollars,  every year,  since 12TownsDrain,  in OAKLAND COUNTY was built, draining into Red Run,  in Warren. 

Time to seperate the sewers LBrookP. Your county is NOT poor. 

Time for Oakland County residents to pay   their-fair-share,  ante up the tax revenue,  and actually fix their infrastructure inadequacies contaminating (via SSO/CSO) the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair. 

I put the blame squarely and firmly on Lewis Brooks Patterson, who skirted around the environmental issue of SEWAGE disposal.

 He bragged about it in his speech.

Macomb County needs to stop pussyfooting around,  engage the FEDERAL EPA,  The Supreme Court, and force OaklandCounty to reduce SSO/CSO events.

 “”Spray and Pray” ” does not cut it anymore for GWK Retention Basin. Find a way to reduce the volume of water.  Stop throwing the problem onto MacombCounty HomeOwners. Our houses,  basements,  and families mean something greater than your sewage overflow. 

Hard rain this week

NOAA forecasts a few inches of rain upon already saturated ground in SouthEast Michigan – for Monday night into Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Stationarity Strategy

​Scientists have used an age old risk assesment concept called Stationarity.  This strategy involves a theory that certain things that contribute to floods,  do not,  change over time. 

This has been the approach many city/suburban planners used,  based on historical data. The climate is about the same,  land use is similiar, etc. ,  etc.,  etc. 

Flood risk was often based on a belief in magnitude and frequency of an event,  would repeat, just as it always had in the history logs. 

Michael Mann, a climate scientist who directs the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. “We know that heavy rainfall has increased dramatically in recent decades, as we expect it to based on fundamental atmospheric physics, combined with human-caused warming of the ocean and atmosphere.”

Warmer air holds more moisture. This increases at a rate of 4%  per degree Fahrenheit of warming.  The result are more frequent,  more intense,  rainfall events. 

Add in to the equation – land useage. Local cities want revenue through property taxes. Every open lot,  field,  meadow,  is expected to be developed.  Old zoning laws are dismissed,  in favor of  “variances”. It makes somebody wonder why are zoning laws existing,  just to have them tossed,  and reconfigured,  in search of revenue dollars. 

Once the asphalt and concrete are put on top of the grass/dirt,  the rain gets forced into the stormdrain system. This development scenario happened at an alarming rate – while the archaic stormwater system underground stayed the same for 1/2 a century. 

The stop gap,  band aid fix,  of building retention basins for sewage disposal,  was outgrown almost before it was completed.  Once built, it became an albatross around the neck of those stuck with Bond Payments for several decades. 

The phrase alludes to Samuel Taylor Coleridge ‘s poem “ The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” in which a sailor who shoots a friendly albatross is forced to wear its carcass around his neck as punishment.

City of Warren service

Years ago when my parents first purchased their house on Dawson,  in Warren, they thoroughly and completely TRUSTED all inspections, certifications, etc. were in order. They believed there was OVERSIGHT and supervision by City Building Engineers for the houses in the subdivision.

A view from 1961

The piping has been in the ground a long long time.  The City of Warren came DIRECT with personnel,  to the house for “”Water Issues””.

In fact,  I have direct proof,  of every single visit The Water Department of Warren Michigan made to our exact address

It shows the names of the City Workers and dates of service.

The City,  the County,  and The USA Army Corps of Engineers,  know exactly  – the elevation of every pipe for tap water,  toilet discharge,  and street drainage. They also know the water elevation level in the Red Run as a direct result of the GWK Retention Basin CSO events.

They know the real deal,  but do not make it easy for ordinary citizens to put the puzzle pieces together.

MIfloods dot Org

Local government recently received a harsh “awakening” to Flooding,  FEMA,  Water management. They were forced to “”deal-with-it””.

MiFloods.Org has been around for a long,  long,  time.  The City of Warren is part of the Organization.

The QUICK guide

Warren has been wet for decades. People have called City Operations,  attended City Council meetings,  etc.,  etc.  The “Catch-to-it-All”  – the COUNTIES are inter-linked,  inter-connected,  co-mingled for stormwater. It makes it tougher to point a finger at anyone in particular.

WHY would Warren,  an inland, landlocked,  NO BEACHES, No Lakes,  community,  be on a FEMA National flood Program since early 1970’s  ????   I’ll let that sink in a second or two or three.

WHERE is all the water coming from ?    Repeatedly,  year after year,  Warren floods,  yet the ClintonRiver is a good distance away.  Did another county FORCE its stormwater into Warren ??   Why yes it did.  There I said it,  in print,  on the internet.

It was a FEDERAL PROJECT to bring stormwater into Warren. Ramrodded,  forced down our throats,  without much of a fight.

Soooo when a smart ass engineer says they know nothing about flooding in various neighborhoods  :

A.)  They are lying to your face

B.)  They are Ignorant

C.)  They should have others check their homework,  calculations,  and reading comprehension skills for a few more years before signing off on anything near your home.

Oh,  and by the way,  it doesn’t take an engineer to know water from high elevations – flows to lower elevations, continually,  relentless, mercilessly,  until the HIGH elevation source is shut off. Otherwise,  it just happens all over again.

Find me a resident how likes being financially tortured by repeated flooding only to be told its their own damn fault by city officials.

Lets turn the torture game on its head by thoroughly infoming ALL real estate agents to avoid Warren. Educate them on FEMA failings, Engineering failures,  and Real World wet basements.  Put it on the internet,  social media,  for all to see. Drop those property assessments to scrap value,  ZERO tax income,  zero business startup, and affect government pocketbooks, elections,  and politicians careers.

Fix the flooding in people’s houses, step up,  take responsibility,  be ethical.  The flipside of the coin is a nasty ugly path.

Warren’s Water Wonderland

I grew up in Warren,  attended Beer Jr.High and C.S.Mott Highschool. No teacher ever hinted at the local geography,  and few mentioned the history of Warren,  Michigan.

It used to have quite a bit of water.

Water flowed across farmland and was a key part of General Motors coming to Warren.

Water flowed where Halmich Park now exists in The City of Warren. It is easy to see connection to Red Run.

Bear Creek is connected to the Red Run and may have had a connection to Conner Creek in Detroit via a field or marsh.

One picture shows Bear Creek along Mound Road by the USA Military property.

At some point in the 1960’s Bear Creek was enclosed,  went underground.

Now much of Bear Creek is enclosed,  lost to old maps and history.

History is important to modern day infrastructure,  as mother nature plays by her own set of rules regarding Thunderstorms.

Water will always attempt to find its own level,  often across large distances and uneven terrain.

Urban expansion “forced” change to natural water flow,  sometimes with unforeseen consequences to downstream communities.

Now in 2016, I urge various City Councils,  SEMCOG leaders, County officials to RE-examine the past choices regarding Clean Drinkable Water via the ClintonRiver and Lake St Clair. 

We are all connected,  so lets keep just Rain-in-the-Drain. The toilet sewers need true, complete,  Waste Water Treatment Plants.

The old CSO strategy has to come to an end.  Combined Sewer Overflows are ruining the Water Wonderland.


Neighborhood Sewer

The Dawson Drive neighborhood in Warren by 14 Mile and Ryan,  north of Red Run drain,  is having an extensive heavy construction project.

The sewer lines for toilet, laundry tub, bath water,  look like this.

Notice how Dawson has 15 inch diameter pipe,  other areas have 8 inch.

The toilet sewer flow goes East,  behind the Warren Community center,  and on to the Warren’s Waste Water Treatment Plant.

You can watch the entire system flow,  from Dawson to the WWTP,  via a YouTube video.

Toilet sewer flow from Dawson
The stormwater flow,  for rain water,  connects into Ryan Road.

Elevation of the neighborhood,  topography,  is around 620 ft above sea level.

The Ryan Road Red Run Bridge is only 620ft above sea level. When the Red Run fills up,  so does everything else,  aka the street catch basins.  Water finds its own level,  always.

Notice the pipe,  at the bottom,  down by the waterline – it is for rainwater off the streets of the Dawson Neighborhood.  When the Red Run is full,  so is this pipe.

Macomb hates trees ? 

I’m pretty confused here in Warren by 14 Mile and Ryan,  near the Red Run.  A few years ago,  I could swear the City of Warren PLANTED trees in my neighborhood.

Today,  ALL the 50 year old trees from when I was a kid are being taken down.


Macomb County urban planners PUSHED the planting of trees for a wide variety of reasons.

Now that Warren wants to do some renovation of the street and water main in neighborhood , the residents/taxpayers of 50 years ~~ ~ loose ~~~ the old growth trees,  leaving ugly stumps ?

It  “was”   really nice and quiet here

Now it’s all chainsaws,  wood chipper roar and heavy equipment boom,  crash,  scrape.


I don’t get it.  Plant trees for nice neighborhoods,  wait 20, 30, 40 years for that overhanging  “”green-canopy”” look,  feel,  ambiance.  Then complain about getting sued for trees.

Pick one Macomb – concrete jungles of lifeless gloom or Glorious Trees that buffer winds,  provide shade and create nice liveable neighborhoods.

I’m truly saddened by the fact all the trees are now gone July 11, 2016.  The concrete work in front of my house won’t start until Sept. or Oct.  according to Engineering Staff.

Oh yeah – my basement will probably still get wet,  along with my neighbors,  because that was NOT the focus of the reconstruction work.  I do not live in a floodzone according to FEMA.

FLOODING,  multiple,  repeated,  numerous occassions,  over decades,  is not on Warren’s agenda,  or Macomb County Drain Commissioners mind –  BUT planting trees sure seems to be a taxpayer debacle as well.

Maybe the USACE with their 800+ page reports and double rework of the bank stabilization can solve the backflow,  surcharge,  inflow,  infiltration,  hydrostatic pressurization of our basement drains due to a rising water table ?


USGS Water survey 1903

The real Warren Michigan,  with its interconnections via creeks,  streams,  rivers as it existed 100 years ago. 

The link is a bit odd via Imgur

USGS Topographical Map

This explains a tremendous amount about the Inter-Connectivity of the water tables among Macomb,  Oakland,  and Wayne Counties. 

Neighborhood Construction

Original Warren neighborhood built in early 1960’s by 14 Mile & Ryan Road in Macomb County will receive a Water Main Replacement with New Concrete. 

This neighborhood has seen flooded basements in the past, on multiple occassions,  over many years. 

Elevation of drains by Dawson and Ryan Road,  just north of Chicago Road,  in Warren,  Michigan. 

When the Red Run is FULL,  around 620ft above sea level,  it puts PRESSURE on the drains that feed it. 

Poo goes high tech

We live in a rapidly evolving world of technology and communications.

You might have seen,  read,  or heard about IoT – Internet of Things.  This is where sensors in a neighborhood detect occurances in real time,  communicate with computer systems,  and provide information used to strategically explore solutions.


There are serious explorations into these kinds of ideas occuring now.

Now will your local goverment actually be OPEN about all the information collected ?   Maybe.

I have written about some of this before,  occuring in Macomb and Oakland counties.
If someone is buying or selling a house,  the issue of flooding,  is a big concern.  People should know where problems have occurred, and are recurring.

–  Continual Sewer Overflow data should be open to public scrutiny. The public should know about Industrial/Commercial useage and contribution to neighborhood stormdrains. The GIS layers for stormdrains should be accessible on a public viewer,  just like other properties area. 

| #Showers, #thunderstorms on #4LiveRadar Sunday morning! | #weather #miwx #detwx | Su, 6/26/2016

Maybe Warren Michigan finally gets some rain.
The garden and lawns are extremely dry

Andrew Humphrey, CBM

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Warren FUBAR scenario

Everyone that lived through the Flood of Aug 2014 realized drainage is a KEY issue.

Your house may NOW be jeopardized based on Marrocco’s actions in court.

The City of Warren physically must be connected to the MacombOakland Interceptor pipeline to avoid future catastrophes of flooded basements.


Taxes, pain and politics


You want a better environment with crystal clear streams,  creeks,  rivers,  lakes all around you ?

You WILL pay more taxes,  period.
Local,  state,  federal – all three.
There will be financial pain.

Numerous politicians must sacrifice themselves to vote for the greater good of everyone.  In effect,  they’ll decide to commit political suicide with zero chance of re-election.  Raise taxes all around for infrastructure,  everyone takes the hit,  all feel the pain.

There is no middle ground anymore,  no more little quick fixes. SouthEast Michigan has a StormWater problem of monumental proportions that can’t be kicked down the road any longer.

This looking back of “”oh we done good,  it’s better than ever before”””  is bullshit.  Instead of spending the BILLIONs of dollars,  a few hundred million dollars $ were spent with a “”fix””,  a work around,  an appeasement.

When will residents get serious – after their property values drop ?
Who wants a house that flooded a few times,  the house on a pea soup green canal,  or the house on a seawall too gunky to go for a swim  ?

What will it take…. seriously now !
Pitchforks and blazing torches to force out useless politicians who did nothing to protect your families ?   Old fashioned  Tar & Feathers with a stern “” Leave the town”” never to return  ?   Who looks at voting records and holds anyone accountable anymore………….

Bad engineering,  bad city planning,  bad foresight,  laziness,  etc.  can’t just be swept under the rug,  with a meek “Uh Sorry”.   It is OUR tax money,  there is no Free Federal Money.  It comes from somewhere,  there are consequences and  repercussions for squandering it.

Selfishness,  self-preservation,  for a wanna-be,  life long career politician isn’t exactly in synchronization with Raising Taxes,  Tearing up roads,  the accompanying sewers,  and having crystal clear stormwater discharge everywhere – is it   ??

It’s all about pain tolerance.
Who or what cracks,  bursts,  first ?

Twitter and The GLWA

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Macomb and Oakland have been joined via sewers for 50 years already.  Oakland County needs the ClintonRiver for sewage overflow.  Of course,  The Clinton flows through Macomb to Lake St Clair.

Water Pressure and Old Pipes

Many houses and subdivisions around Warren Michigan are about 50 years old.  The earth has settled,  shifted slightly,  and the underground rain water connections are no longer watertight.  They leak into the surrounding dirt.  Ordinarily,  it is no big deal.

A crisis can occur when the dirt is already quite saturated with rain water AND it continues to rain.  The ground water table begins to rise,  and it seeps into “other” pipes,  like the Sewer Connections.


The storm water in NorthWest Warren neighborhoods flows into the Red Run Drain (via drains at the BOTTOM of the open stormwater channel)



The Red Run Drain fills quickly,  rapidly,  as Oakland County also contributes stormwater flow. The water level may be 20 to 30ft deep in spots.


Water pressure at the bottom of a reservoir,  is equal at all points.


The pressure at inlet A = B = C = D regardless of the piping path.


The Red Run Drain has often filled to the top the last few years.  This PRESSURIZES the system of inlets from the Street drains.



Soooo,  lets say that street drain is about 30ft deep,  and full of water – as it enters Red Run.
It exerts a force of several POUNDS per SQUARE INCH,  and easily leaks thru any crack, loose fitting, coupling,  etc. 


The sump pumps cannot keep up and in fact add more water to the system,  in a vicious cycle,  – from the Storm Drains – to the sanitary(Sewer) drains,  pushing toilet stuff into a basement.

Instead of being at the BOTTOM of the channel,  these street drains would be better suited to the TOP,  under the access easement.
** You can see where someone tried to be “slick”, cobbling up the manhole,  a foot or two, with bricks,  to no effect.


Do you fill your bathtub from the TOP,  or from the bottom ?  A pool uses the pressure from the bottom, to circulate the water up to the top. 


There is a great reason most systems DO NOT add water to the bottom of a reservoir. The bottom has pressure !

City of Warren engineering staff has mentioned the crumbling streets of the NorthWest neighborhoods would get new concrete. The newer “edge drainage”  channel may keep the road bed drier than before – but it won’t solve any flooding issue for residents near the Ryan Road at Red Run Bridge vicinity.



Notice the large stormwater pipe at the bottom of the bridge,  gets COMPLETLY submerged every time the Red Run Drain fills near its banks.

There is a design fault causing grief for residents,  that cannot be explained away by – “Act of God”.  Humans built it,  and they are responsible,  for oversights,  miscalculations,  omissions,  and errors.

Most of the stormwater comes directly from OaklandCounty via the 12TownsDrain aka GWK Retention Basin – into Warren – via the Red Run Drain.