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August storm created major sewer overflows in southeast Michigan

Oct 26, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - A newspaper says nearly 10 billion gallons of sewer overflows were released into rivers and lakes in southeastern Michigan after a tremendous August storm.

Aerial view of flooding in Detroit
Credit Michigan State Police

  The Detroit Free Press says the number comes from reports to state regulators. The waste came from sanitary sewers that couldn't handle the rain and systems that combine stormwater and sewage.

  Untreated waste carries contaminants that can spoil Lake St. Clair beaches in Macomb County and put drinking water at risk. The Free Press says 10 billion gallons would equal about 20 million 50-gallon baths.

  Detroit says it's not safe to swim in the Detroit River or the Rouge River after a big storm.

  Melissa Force of Harrison Township remembers whitecaps along her Lake St. Clair seawall years ago. Now she sees a stagnant swamp.