Dec 28, 2000

Michigan E. Coli Counts Prompt Investigation of Illegal Pumps

The Detroit News reports that extremely high E. coli bacteria counts in the county of Macomb, Mich., have prompted the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to investigate whether two local communities have been illegally discharging untreated sewage.

Local health officials found high readings of the bacteria in East Pond Creek in Romeo and Crapeau Creek in New Baltimore earlier this year and notified the state DEQ.

The DEQ sent the test results to the town officials, asking for a submission of plans to correct any problems. Earlier this year, the DEQ also sent letters asking every municipality in Michigan to disclose illegal pumps by July 15, as part of an effort to investigate illegal sewer systems in the state.

Five other Macomb communities admitted to dumping untreated sewage into the Clinton River through illegal pumps. New Baltimore and Romeo town officials have not admitted to any illegal sewage systems.

"We suspect that there is a break in the line somewhere under one or two houses," Village Clerk Marian McLaughlin said in The Detroit News. "We have our own water treatment plant that is in compliance with the DEQ standards. We do not have overflow problems."

(Source: The Detroit News)