security provides funds for lake
took the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to secure a Pentagon
commitment to spend big bucks on protecting the waters of
Lake St. Clair. The new defense budget
offers $3.5 million for extensive water monitoring to protect
the lake from potential chemical contamination by terrorists.
The lake serves as the drinking water source for 4 million
southeast Michigan residents.
and county officials will announce Tuesday that $3.5 million
has been earmarked for "real-time" monitoring equipment
on the lake. That will allow nearly instantaneous analysis
of the water, without a 1- or 2-day delay for laboratory
The funding will be used to detect chemical and biological
agents in Lake St. Clair and the rivers that flow into
the lake. The monitoring system will also sound the alarm
when industrial pollutants or sewage threaten the waterways.
Lake St. Clair flows into the main water intake for the
Detroit regional water system, located in the Detroit
River near Belle Isle.
The funding is a major victory for county officials who
have spent nine years trying to reduce beach closings
due to sewage overflows.
TACOM, the U.S. Army's Tank-Automotive Command center
in Warren, will work with the Macomb County Health Department
on developing the new system.
TACOM first attempted to establish a real-time monitoring
system in 1998 in the St. Clair River, upstream from the
lake, without much success. That same year, TACOM's water
research laboratory was named as one of the most prestigious
facilities in the nation, one of four National Centers
for Water Treatment Technologies.
Tuesday's announcement will be made at Metropolitan Beach
in Harrison Township by Gen. N. Ross Thompson, commander
of TACOM. Also on hand for the press conference will be
U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services
Committee; his brother, U.S. Rep. Sander Levin; county
board Chairman John Hertel; and county Water Quality Board
Chairman Doug Martz.