Reducing Sewage Contamination in Stormwater


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  • West Branch of Paint Creek. Illicit connection inside the ground maintenance building – chalk residue from washing “line maker” used on athletic fieldsM:\\Drain Files\\W. Br. Paint Creek - 8334\\school discharge
  • Reducing Sewage Contamination in Stormwater

    1. 1. Reducing Sewage Contamination in Stormwater:Southeast Michigan Success Stories HOW-Great Lakes Coalition 7th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference October 14, 2011 Detroit, Michigan Annette DeMaria, P.E. Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. Clinton Township, Michigan
    2. 2. The Problem• Infrastructure issues, although not seen, are affecting water quality ∞ Illicit connections between the storm and sanitary sewers exist in most urbanized areas ∞ Failing septic systems are impacting rural areas
    3. 3. How does this happen?• Mistaken identity: Accidental connections• Sins of the past: High level connections purposely created to prevent sewage backup into basements• Plumbing short cuts: Improper connections (sometimes) not caught during sewer separation projects• Aging infrastructure and insufficient funding for maintenance
    4. 4. The Challenge• Sources are diffuse and sometimes intermittent• Masked by stormwater runoff• No good indicator for sewage contamination ∞ E. coli or fecal coliform: can indicate contamination for any warm-blooded animal and doesn’t necessarily indicate recent contamination ∞ Genetic (DNA) methods too sensitive and costly
    5. 5. Motivation to fix it• The hammer: ∞ Much of southeast Michigan is subject to storm water regulations • Municipalities are required to conduct illicit discharge elimination programs to prevent non-storm water from discharging to surface waters• The carrot: ∞ Improved water quality ∞ Funding was available through the Clean Michigan Initiative bond initiative
    6. 6. Strategies (select)• Conduct a systematic survey of your stormwater system ∞ Map your system ∞ Visual observations and sampling data• Training municipal staff• Conduct septic system inspections• Encourage public involvement• Continued maintenance on the sanitary sewer
    7. 7. Subject Area• Macomb County• Oakland County• St. Clair County• Washtenaw County• Wayne County
    8. 8. The Results• Elimination of 599 million gallons per year of untreated sewage from entering surface waters ∞ > 24,000 outfalls surveyed ∞ >9,000 facilities dye tested ∞ 4,500 illicit connections/discharges identified
    9. 9. Public Involvement: Pollution Complaint LinesMichigan’s Pollution 800-292-4706Alert System 877-679-4337Macomb Co. IDEP@macombcountymi.govOakland Co. 248-858-0931St. Clair Co. 877-504-SWIMWashtenaw Co. 734-222-3880Wayne Co. 888-223-2363
    10. 10. Public Education Campaign SEMCOG: Seven Simple Steps Campaign
    11. 11. Using the public as your eyes and ears: “How to Spot” Card Sanitary DischargesObservations: - Sanitary debris - Staining on pipe - Heavy foam - Gray or Discolored Water - Odors (sewage, chlorine,rotten eggs and detergents) StainingIllegal Dumping, Spills, or Industrial Discharge Agricultural Runoff, Fertilizers,Floor Drain Connection Observations: or Sanitary Sewer WasteObservations: - Discolored water Observations:- Oily sheen - Chemical odor - Algae growth at or near outlet- Trash, non-sanitary debris - Heavy vegetation at or near outlet- Petroleum odors- Stained sediment, rocks, and vegetation *This slide was produced by the New York State Thruway Authority and is used with their permission.
    12. 12. Training municipal staff• Wayne County’s Illicit Discharge Elimination Training Program ∞ Purpose: Screen and investigate for illicit discharges ∞ Trained 1,200 municipal staff • Across lower MI • Duluth, MN • Lake County, IL
    13. 13. Storm System Screening• Surveyed stormwater drainage system for signs of ∞ Illicit connections • Gray staining, soap suds ∞ Failed septic systems • Cheater pipes from clogged fields • Wet drain fields ∞ Illegal dumping • Drums, pet waste, trash • Household hazardous waste ∞ Ag-related discharges • Manure runoff
    14. 14. Screening: Outfall Sampling• Take sample of flow (no precipitation or significant melt off for last 48 hours) - Bacteria (E. coli) - Surfactants (detergents) - Temperature (winter time) - Conductivity - pH
    15. 15. Source Tracking Investigations• Track suspected problems back to a source ∞ Visual / olfactory inspection ∞ Sample collection ∞ CCTV (closed circuit TV) inspection ∞ Dye testing ∞ Smoke testing
    16. 16. Visual Signs Sanitary debris in storm drain Gray staining under inlet Gray water, odor, and turbidity Excessive algal growth
    17. 17. Visual Signs Flow through drain tile Soap suds Low lying wet areas with sewage odors Dilapidated sewer
    18. 18. Visual Signs Dumpster juice Oil, fuel, grease sheens Manure leachate Cattle input
    19. 19. Source Identification: Dye testing• For sewers
    20. 20. Source Identification: Dye testing• For septic systems
    21. 21. Source Identification: Sewer Inspection
    22. 22. Source Identification: Sewer Inspection
    23. 23. Source Identification: Smoke Testing• Cooperation with homeowners – traps inside homes need to be filled with water. Photo credit: Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment, Inc
    24. 24. Eliminating 15 years of dischargealong the Upper Rouge River Up pe r Ro ug e RiS# S # ve S S S # # # S # S # r SS ## S # S # U .S . S # 1 S # 6 Dr a i S # n S # S S # # T $
    25. 25. Problems in an Urban Watershed• Dry weather results Number of E.coli outlets (cfu/100ml) 19 0 – 300 7 301 – 3,000 3 > 3,000 Total samples: 29
    26. 26. Problems in an Urban Watershed E.coli (cfu/100ml)• Upstream 0 – 300 Sampling 301 – 3,000• Drain walk > 3,000 ∞ 120 taps identified ∞ 18+ contain sewage
    27. 27. Sources Identified Leaking dumpster Cheater pipe from an on-site system Government facility Elementary School (suspected) Apartment complex Automatic car wash Wrong pipe bulkheadedBroken sanitary line Transmission shop Catering trucks Failing bulkhead on sanitary 6 Failing bulkheads on taps 48” sanitary connected 3/4
    28. 28. Septic System Inspection Ordinances• 3 of 5 counties have a “Time of Sale” Ordinance• Problems are found before direct impacts to surface waters• Failures include ∞ Backup of sewage into a home’s plumbing ∞ Improper drainage of tank ∞ Dilapidation of the tank ∞ Breakthrough to ground, surface water, groundwater or storm drain
    29. 29. Macomb County AccomplishmentsSince 2001… Since 2006….• Over 5,400 drains • 5,000 septic systems inspected via surveys inspected via Ordinance ∞ Over 75 million gallons ∞ Ave: 11% failures/month of pollution per ordinance definition eliminated/year• Funding: $1.5 M (75% grant)
    30. 30. Washtenaw County Accomplishments• 200+ drains inspected• ~50 illegal connections identified• 3.5 million gallons eliminated/year
    31. 31. Wayne County Accomplishments: DyetestingSince 1987…• Inspected 9,163 facilities; 7% had illicit connections/discharges ∞ 2,566 illicit connections/discharges identified ∞ Over 463 million gallons of polluted water eliminated/year Swimming Pool Machinery Process Floor Sinks Sump Drains Water 0.3% Showers 0.7% 0.5% 2.1% Urinals Sump Pumps 1.1% 1.3% Drinking Fountains Other (Not 2.6% specified) Washing Machines 1.4% 2.6% (Horse) Washing Pads 3.1% Floor Drains 49.3% Toilets 11.0% Catch Basins with Sinks Oil Separators 21.4% 2.5%
    32. 32. Wayne County Accomplishments:Septic system inspectionsSince 2000…• 1,560 systems inspected• 21% were failing per ordinance definition
    33. 33. Oakland County Accomplishments Belle Leonard OxfordSince 1999… Ortonville Holly Brandon Addison Groveland Flint Oxford• 1,466 drains inspected Fenton Holly Lake Orion• 8,300+ outfalls mapped and Independence Oakland Shiawasee Orion Springfield Rose Village of screened Clarkston Clinton Auburn ∞ 305 illicit discharge Lake Angelus Hills Rochester Rochester investigations Waterford Hills White Highland Lake Pontiac• 293 complaint-based Sylvan Lake Keego Huron Harbor Orchard investigations Milford Commerce Wolverine Lake Village West Bloomfield Bloomfield Hills Troy• 196 sourcesremoved Lake Bloomfield Milford Walled Birmingham Clawson Lake Beverly Franklin Wixom Bingham Hills Southfield Royal Madison Rouge Farms Heights• 11.5 million gallons of Farmington Oak Hills Berkley Lathrup Novi Village Huntington Lyon Southfield Woods Pleasant sewage eliminated Ridge Hazel Farmington Oak Park South Ferndale Park Lyon Novi Royal Oak Northville Location of discharge points and outfalls screened from 2003-2010
    34. 34. St. Clair County Accomplishments Since 2003… • 3,087 miles surveyed • 6,150 outfalls screened • 590 failing septic systems identified • 50 million gallons of sewage eliminated • Funding: $1.2 M (75% grant)
    35. 35. Barriers to Success: Rural Areas• Misconception: Septic systems can be repaired. Field replacement was more typical.• Bad soils for fields ∞ Fields need to be oversized, raised, fill brought onsite• Elevation challenges ∞ Grinder pumps needed when the home sits below the field• Financing: $10,000 - $15,000 for field replacement ∞ Many not eligible for federal assistance ∞ Home equity loans are currently tough to secure• Areas requiring regional solutions
    36. 36. Barriers to Success: Urban Areas• Improper connections are diffuse and difficult to locate• Investigations even more complicated in lake front communities• No good indicator for sewage contamination• Municipalities are not a custom to providing funding for storm sewer maintenance• Investigations are costly and you may just be chasing your tail
    37. 37. These efforts would not have occurred without the funding made available by federal and state grants! Acknowledgements •Federal agencies and the Michigan Department of Environment • Rouge River Wet Weather Demonstration Project •Residents of the State of Michigan • Clean Michigan Initiative •Local and regional units of government:Annette DeMaria, P.E.