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Public Works Office
Candice S. Miller
21777 Dunham Road, Clinton Township, MI 48036
(586) 469-5325

Contact: Norb Franz
Communication Manager, Macomb County Public Works Office

Phone: 586-201-5732

Email: Norb.Franz@macombgov.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 18, 2022

Changes at Macomb County pump station help avert sewage discharges

 

The Chapaton Pump Station, at Nine Mile Road and Jefferson Avenue, handles the combined sanitary and storm water flow for all of Eastpointe and 80 percent of St. Clair Shores.

 

 

The Chapaton canal that leads to Lake St. Clair.

 

 

State funding will help improve water quality and reduce risk of sinkholes, Macomb County Public Works commissioner says

Operational changes by the Macomb County Public Works Office at the county’s largest waste water pump station prevented the discharge of combined storm water and sanitary sewage into Lake St. Clair despite recent heavy rain.

“We’re very happy and proud that we were able to avoid discharging millions of gallons of CSO’s from the Chapaton Pump Station in St. Clair Shores,” Public Works Commissioner Candice S. Miller said following the approximately 1.4 inches of rain late Sunday and early Monday. “It’s proof that any and all improvements are worthwhile to reduce overflows.”

Five new manhole covers and seals were installed in 2020 atop the 70-foot-deep wet well inside the Chapaton pump station, which is located on Nine Mile Road at Jefferson Avenue and serves St. Clair Shores and Eastpointe. Engineers determined the level of the combined flow inside the wet well could be increased to a higher elevation. That allows more combined flow to be temporarily contained further upstream in the sewer system and results in less being released into Lake St. Clair, and instead going to the Great Lakes Water Authority’s sewage treatment plant in Detroit for full treatment.

Based on past years’ rain events, the operational change allows up to an estimated 8.6 million gallons to be temporarily “stored” upstream and reduce CSO’s at Chapaton by approximately 30 percent a year.

This marks the fifth time in less than 15 months that the discharge of treated, combined sewage during significant wet weather events was averted.

Sewage overflows treated with the proper amount of chlorine are permitted by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, and have been allowed for decades.

That’s not good enough, according to Miller.

“We don’t need to keep living this way and leaving it for the next generations to solve. That’s why in Macomb County, we are continually studying ideas, designing projects and pursuing local, state and federal funding to pay for upgrades,” she said. “We urge Oakland County and Wayne County to do the same.”

Macomb County has made significant strides in an ongoing effort to reduce CSO’s. Construction is expected to begin soon on “in-system storage” projects for the Chapaton and Martin sewer districts to “store” flow whenever possible and gradually release it further downstream for treatment. The Public Works Office also is in the design phase of a new pump station on Nine Mile next to the 54-year-old Chapaton Pump Station, to increase capacity and create redundancy.

“We’re very pleased with how well our operational change at Chapaton, which we continue to study, has worked,” Miller said. “No storm water system can completely handle the so-called ‘100-year’ rain events like those that dumped 4-7 inches of rain between southeast Macomb County to the Grosse Pointes and the Jefferson-Chalmers area of northeast Detroit 11 months ago. But those storms showed everyone that major investment is needed in our underground infrastructure by the counties, state and federal government.”

 

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21777 Dunham Road, Clinton Township, MI, 48036

http://publicworks.macombgov.org/