drain tests sought
dumped into lake needs checking, county official says By
Gene Schabath / The Detroit News 03/13/2002
TOWNSHIP -- If leaders from five communities along
Lake St. Clair decide to adopt a coastal zone management
plan, Doug Martz hopes one issue they tackle is clean
Martz, chairman of the Macomb Water
Quality Board, hopes the communities urge extensive testing
of the 20 drains that dump storm water into Lake St. Clair,
canals and other waterways.
"Who knows what is coming from these
drains," Martz said.
Pollution abatement is one of the topics
the coastal zone program will address, organizers say.
Thomas Kalkofen, director of the Macomb
County Health Department, said Martz' suggestion has merit.
"We might look for some Clean Michigan
Initiative funding, or maybe we can address it through
our illicit discharge program," he said.
The Clean Michigan Initiative is a $675
million state plan whose objectives include environmental
cleanup, water protection, state and local park improvements,
and pollution prevention.
Under the illicit discharge project,
the Macomb health department has been testing for E. coli
bacteria in county drains to track down and correct improper
Kalkofen said the health department
conducted a comprehensive testing program two years ago
of the 20 drain outfalls into Lake St. Clair, but the
testing only was for E. coli bacteria.
High levels of E. coli bacteria can
cause skin rashes, intestinal problems and diarrhea in
humans. Bacteria levels have forced dozens of beach closings
along Lake St. Clair over the past several years.
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