In 2001, Macomb County (County) received its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Voluntary Watershed Permit. The voluntary permit required the County to prepare a Public Education Plan (PEP) to educate staff, residents and visitors on nonpoint source water quality impacts. An Illicit Discharge Elimination Plan (IDEP) was also required for eliminating E.coli from county owned storm sewer outfalls and waters of the state.
In March 2003, the County’s permit was no longer voluntary. Macomb County and most of its communities and school districts were required to apply for a NPDES Phase 2 Watershed Permit. Many of the school districts chose to be covered under the County's permit as a 'Nested Jurisdiction'. This allowed both the County and the school districts to share resources and save money.
On November 1, 2004, a revised PEP and IDEP were required. By November 1, 2006, Macomb County and its Nested Jurisdictions had met another permit requirement by completing the development of Watershed Management Plans (WMPs) for the Anchor Bay, Clinton River East, Lake Saint Clair Direct Drainage, Stony Creek and Red Run Subwatersheds. These plans outlined the goals, objectives and actions needed to improve water quality throughout the subwatersheds. Input was received from local officials, municipal staff and the public.
Finally, a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Initiative (SWPPI) was submitted on May 1, 2007. The SWPPI outlined all the actions that Macomb County and its Nested Jurisdictions would take over the permit period to meet the goals and objectives set forth in the WMPs. On July 31, 2007, the MDEQ granted its approval of the document and its outlined actions.
Every year an Annual Report is submitted to MDEQ outlining the work the County and its Nested Jurisdictions have done to meet its permit requirements. A copy of the 2008 report is included below. Also, the Macomb County Public Works Office has included several tips for the public to assist with protecting stormwater, as well as links to other websites that provide valuable environmental information. Remember, all the little things we do, taken together, make a big difference.
Remember, it all drains to our lakes and rivers.
Did you know we all live on a lake or stream? It’s true -- we might not be able to see it from our window, but it’s there. It might be a small stream or ditch or even the storm drain in the street. All of these lead to a river or lake. So it’s important to remember that what we do at home affects our rivers and lakes!
Here are some simple steps you can take to help keep our water clean. Give them a try. A few simple changes can make a big difference! Plus, you’ll save time and money in the process.