monitor system is urged
officials want faster setup to identify bacteria
Edward L. Cardenas / The Detroit News
-- A bi-partisan coalition of state legislators and
local officials are pushing Gov. John Engler to approve
$2.5 million to monitor water in the Lake St. Clair watershed
Clinton Township and St. Clair Shores
officials are sending letters of support for the appropriation,
which is in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
The department's budget has been approved
by the state House and Senate, and only need Engler's
Engler spokeswoman Susan Shafer said
the governor would look at the program but approval would
hinge on the passage of the cigarette tax to balance the
A monitoring system would measure the
levels of E. coli bacteria in the lake and rivers.
Testing, now done by the county health
department, takes upwards of 18 hours to get results.
But a monitoring system could give E. coli levels in seconds.
High E. coli bacteria levels have been
blamed on untreated sewage and storm water being pushed
into rivers and the lake.
"We are doing some (water) monitoring
ourselves," Clinton Township Supervisor Robert Cannon
Clinton Township has started a program
that directs storm water runoff from homes into a sump
pump as opposed to pushing it into sanitary sewers, which
caused overflows during heavy rains.
And the township bought monitors to
measure the amount of water that goes into the sewer system.
The $2.5 million for the state's water
monitoring program for Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River
and the Clinton River would come from the state's cleanup
and redevelopment fund.