What is Stormwater
Stormwater is water that originates from rain, including snow and ice melt. Stormwater can soak into the soil (infiltrate), be stored on the land surface in ponds and puddles, evaporate, or runoff. Most runoff is conveyed directly to nearby streams, rivers, or other water bodies (surface water) without treatment.
Why does stormwater need to be managed? Over the past century or so we have built homes, roads, shopping centers, commercial buildings, and so on, all of which dramatically increased the amount of impervious surface. At the same time, we have modified the landscape to facilitate rapid drainage of stormwater runoff from our developments. This has had the effect of concentrating the stormwater runoff and decreasing infiltration. This causes three problems.
Flowing water is quite powerful and picks up soils, debris, leaves, and oils from the impervious surfaces it flows over. Unless treated, this material reaches surface waters, where it can pollute them beyond the point where the water supports wildlife or recreation.
The increased volume of water running off and the increased speed of the drainage means large quantities of water reach surface waters quickly. This can lead to flooding and scouring (erosion) of river channels.
Less water infiltrates, resulting in reduced soil moisture and less water percolating to groundwater. Consequently, plants may be stressed during dry periods and aquifer (groundwater) levels may decrease. Depleted groundwater levels may, in turn, reduce water levels in streams and reduce drinking water supplies.
Stormwater Management Plan Available for Public Inspection and Comment
The Stormwater Management Plan is available on the Macomb Intermediate School District website for review and comment by the public.
All comments should go to the Macomb Intermediate School District Operations Department at
The Lake St. Clair Water Festival provides free, hands-on opportunities for 4th and 5th grade students to learn about using and preserving the Lake St. Clair Watershed.
Visit the Lake St. Clair Water Festival Homepage
Household Hazardous Waste
When household hazardous waste is not correctly disposed, it can enter our storm sewers and waterways. Improperly disposing of these items into storm sewers, sanitary sewers, on-lot sewage systems, or by dumping them onto the ground allows stormwater runoff to pick them up and carry them into our waterways. Once this waste enters our waterways, it causes water pollution that poses a threat to our health and can harm — and in some instances kill — animal and plant life.
Public Services host household hazardous waste collections for county residents. The collections are designed to accept unwanted household chemicals for proper disposal. Links for household hazardous waste collections are below.
Visit the Macomb County Hazardous Waste Information Webpage Visit the Wayne County Hazardous Waste Information Webpage
Recreational Vehicle Waste Information
Many RV owners fail to follow proper waste-disposal protocols, instead discharging their accumulated sewer wastes, including “black water,” directly into storm drains. The result is that untreated sewage is being released directly into our local waterway. Please see the link below to locate RV dump stations by state.
Riparian Landowner Information
As a responsible waterfront property owner, practicing these Healthy Habits for Clean Water are especially important because you are directly at the water’s edge where runoff doesn’t have far to travel before reaching the water. Oakland County is home to the headwaters of five major river systems—the Clinton, Flint, Huron, Rouge and Shiawassee. With more than 1,400 lakes and five major river systems in Oakland County (encompassing a total of more than 900 miles of shoreline), riparian landowners have a significant opportunity to make a big difference in protecting our water quality!
Illicit Discharge Elimination
The two greatest sources of water quality problems in the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair are polluted storm water runoff and illicit discharges that contain bacteria and nutrients.
REPORT A POLLUTER - 24-Hour Toll Free Water Pollution Hotline 1-877-679-4337 When to Call
Please contact us if you observe:
A strong sewage odor
Discharges or dumping of pollutants into
drains, ditches, ponds, lakes, or rivers
Sewage on the ground surface
Be prepared to give the following information:
Location of complaint
Source of pollution, if known
Responsible party, if known
Any other relevant observations
*You may remain anonymous if you desire.
Prevent Illicit Discharges Only rain in the drain.
Never dump motor oil, chemicals, pet waste or dirty wash water down the storm drain or into ditches. All of these materials pollute our lakes and streams.
Keep pet waste cleaned up from lawns, sidewalks and streets and away from drainage ditches and storm drains. When dog waste is left behind, it washes into storm drains and ditches. From there, it heads straight to your local lakes and streams.
Fertilizer left on sidewalks and driveways will easily wash into storm drains and ditches. So, save money and our lakes and streams by sweeping fertilizer back onto the lawn.
Post- Construction Policies
Development and redevelopment projects include the Macomb County Procedures and Design Standards for Stormwater Management.