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City of Detroit Gets a Financial Boost for its Combined Sewer Overflow Project

Wednesday, August 11, 2010   (0 Comments)
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The Department of Natural Resources and Environment today announced a $308,000 grant to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) to help the City of Detroit plan for the integration of "green technologies" into their Upper Rouge combined sewer overflow (CSO) control program. 

Under state water pollution control permit requirements, the city is required to capture and treat its CSOs to meet water quality standards in the Rouge River and to protect public health. Officials recognized this as a key time to consider installing green infrastructure practices, such as infiltration ponds and rain gardens, to reduce the volume of storm water entering the city's sewer system and to help contribute to a reduction of CSO discharges to the Rouge River. The city worked with the SEMCOG, and SEMCOG then approached the DNRE. The project is part of a larger effort to redesign the city's CSO system, which will save several hundred million dollars. Once implemented, the water quality benefits of the project will include: 
* Fewer discharges, which will reduce E. coli and other water quality pollutants. 
* Improved stream hydrology. 
* Reduction in stream temperature, thereby improving fish and stream quality. 
* Improved habitat, reduction in urban heat island affect, improved aesthetics and property value, and a reduction in peak rate which may reduce flooding. 

The project is being funded with federal Clean Water Act Section 205j funds, which support water quality planning efforts. The DNRE receives funds annually to support staff and local water quality planning projects. Get more information about the DNRE's combined sewer overflow control program at

SEMCOG is a regional planning agency that works with local governments in southeast Michigan to address a wide range of planning issues. Learn more at

The DNRE is committed to conserve, manage, protect, and promote accessible use and enjoyment of the state's environmental, natural resource, and related economic interests for current and future generations.  Learn more at

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Rob Coppersmith at or call him at the MITA office at (517) 347-8336. 

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