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More drain tests sought
Water dumped into lake needs checking, county official says
By Gene Schabath / The Detroit News
03/13/2002

   HARRISON 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 water.
   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 sewer connections.
   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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