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

Contact: Dan Heaton

Phone: 586-469-7424



April 24, 2019

Macomb BOC Endorses Plan to Reduce Combined Sewer Overflows

*Macomb County Board of Commissioners Endorses Expansion of Chapaton Pump Station*

*Project Would Make Strides in Reducing Combined Sewer Overflows*

The Macomb County Board of Commissioners has unanimously endorsed a Macomb County Public Works project that will significantly improve water quality in Lake St. Clair.

The resolution highlights Lake St. Clair as being "vital to the environmental quality, human health, economic vitality, and quality of life of Macomb County and all of Southeast Michigan and the Great Lakes." The board's resolution supports a plan put forward by Macomb County Public 

Works Commissioner Candice S. Miller that will eliminate approximately 75 percent of all combined sewer overflows that discharge into the lake from the county's Chapaton Retention Basin in St. Clair Shores.

"This endorsement from the Macomb County Board of Commissioners is very much appreciated. The commissioners live here, they understand the importance of the lake to our county and really to our region as a whole," Miller said.

Under the Miller plan - which was also recently endorsed by U.S. Rep. Andy Levin and eight other Michigan members of Congress - two major improvements will be made to the Chapaton station:

  • The facility's existing storage canal for stormwater will be expanded; and
  • Mechanical gates will be added to the massive underground pipes that service the area.

Combined, these two projects will double the current 30 million gallon holding capacity at Chapaton. Using historical information over the past 12 years, about 75 percent of all combined sewer overflows at the facility would have been prevented, had this project been completed earlier. Notably, the Chapaton basin recorded a combined sewer overflow of about 27.4 million gallons two days after the county board resolution was signed - a spill that would not happen at all once the improvements are completed.

Combined, the two projects are expected to cost about $30 million.

"The Macomb County Board of Commissioners took a hard look at this project. They asked questions and visited the facility. Our team took a creative approach to this problem and really analyzed our options, looking for ways that we could make a major difference in how we interact with the lake, but also being respectful of the financial realities. This resolution from the board only validates our conclusion that this is the right solution at the right time," Miller said.

In late 2018, the Michigan Legislature approved $3 million to help offset the cost of the project. Last month, Levin, whose district includes the Chapaton Basin, authored a letter encouraging federal agencies to support the Chapaton work. Miller and the MCPWO team continue to work with local, state and federal partners, looking for creative ways to offset the costs of the basin improvements. The basin serves and is funded by sewer service rate payers in Eastpointe and St. Clair Shores. The basin is located at 9 Mile and Jefferson roads.

Design work is underway on the storage canal expansion portion of the work, with construction on that part of the job set to begin in late spring or early summer 2020. Design work is expected to be put out for bid on the in-pipe storage phase late this summer, with construction expected to begin about a year later.

During heavy rains, pumps at Chapaton are used to divert storm water out of large underground sewer pipes and in to an underground retention basin, so that storm water and sewage does not back up into homes in St. Clair Shores and Eastpointe. The water diverted into the basin is treated with a strong bleach solution to kill harmful bacteria in the event the water overflows the basin's capacity and has to be discharged in to Lake St. Clair.


21777 Dunham Road, Clinton Township, MI, 48036