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Great Lakes Article:

Water monitor system is urged
Macomb officials want faster setup to identify bacteria

By Edward L. Cardenas / The Detroit News


   CLINTON TOWNSHIP -- 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 area.
   Clinton Township and St. Clair Shores officials are sending letters of support for the appropriation, which is in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality budget.
   The department's budget has been approved by the state House and Senate, and only need Engler's signature.
   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 state's budget.
   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 said.
   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.

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