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sewer systems

CharlesHodgson / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Detroit is trying to prevent street flooding by regularly cleaning the sewer grates and catch basins on the side of the road.

The city announced the new program Tuesday.

“Lately we’ve been getting less frequent rain but the intensity of the rains has been more severe. So not only is it a nuisance but it also can be hazardous,” Detroit Water and Sewer Department’s chief engineer Palencia Mobley said.

It likely wouldn’t prevent major street flooding like what happened in 2014, but the situation should improve, Mobley said.

The sinkhole in Macomb County.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Macomb County will inspect the entire pipe system surrounding a collapsed sewer line that turned into a massive sinkhole Christmas Eve.

The inspection will use cameras and other technologies to examine 17 miles of pipe in the Macomb Interceptor Drainage District.

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller says doing a full inspection is the only way to know if there’s additional damage, and what the fixes might look like.

Governor Rick Snyder will deliver his seventh State of the State address tonight. My guess is that not many people will watch or listen; with this speech, they hardly ever do.

Abraham Lincoln famously said at Gettysburg that “the world will little note nor long remember what we say here.”

Lincoln was as wrong as he could be about his own words.

The Fraser sinkhole is about 250 feet by 100 feet.
Henrique Pinto / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Officials say it will take several months to repair a sinkhole in a suburban Detroit neighborhood. The sinkhole forced home evacuations and closed roadways in Fraser. City and county employees have been working around the clock over the holiday weekend and local leaders say it’s going to be all-hands-on-deck to make repairs.

The sinkhole is more of a depression, because it hasn’t actually opened up above ground yet. But officials believe it’s about 250 feet long and 100 feet wide; larger than one in 2004 that caused a nearby section of roadway to cave in.

Longtime Macomb Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco, left; retiring U.S. Rep. Candice Miller (R-Harrison Township), right.
via Macomb County, US Rep. Candice Miller

If you live in southeast Michigan, you’ve probably seen ads like this on your TV lately:

And this one:

Durene Brown's basement has now flooded several times. She has yet to hear back about a claim filed in May.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is about to process an “unprecedented” number of claims, although it’s uncertain what claimants can expect to get out of the process.

It’s the result of a July 8 rainstorm that caused sewage to back up into basements across a swath of Detroit’s east side. A similar, smaller event happened in the same area just last week.

DWSD has urged affected residents to file claims, and many have.

A sewage main for the Detroit sewer and water system.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency says communities in the eight Great Lakes states will need close to $80 billion to update and replace wastewater infrastructure in the next 20 years.

The recently released 2012 Clean Watersheds Needs Survey says national waste water management needs total $271 billion. 

That includes general water treatment plant infrastructure, storm water management systems, and aging sewage systems.

Steven Depolo / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

It took almost 30 years and $400 million, but Grand Rapids has finished updating part of its 100-year-old sewer system.

The city’s old system combined stormwater with sewer water, and sent it all to the wastewater treatment plant.

Mayor George Heartwell says it generally worked, until heavy rain hit.