Storm Water Management

What is a Watershed, Anyway?

A watershed is another word for a river basin. It's an area of land that drains into a common body of water. Ever wonder where all that rain and melting snow goes when it washes down the drain in the parking lot? In most of Macomb County, the eastern half of Oakland County, and small areas of southern Lapeer and St. Clair counties, this water makes its way into the Clinton River and eventually out to Lake St. Clair. The land that drains into the Clinton River covers 760 square miles and includes over 1,000 miles of streams in addition to the 80-mile-long main branch.

Watershed Planning Groups

In Michigan, communities are coming together to address storm water management on a watershed basis. In the Clinton River watershed, 7 subwatershed planning groups have formed: Upper Clinton, Clinton Main, Stony/Paint, North Branch, Red Run, Clinton River East, and Lake St. Clair Direct Drainage.

Storm water pollution has become the predominant source of water quality and habitat impairments in the Clinton River and its tributaries. Under Phase II of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), part of the Clean Water Act, more than 40 local and county governments and numerous other public entities across the watershed must meet federal and state standards for reducing storm water pollution leaving their jurisdiction

Each group has charted a course to fulfill the requirements of their storm water permits by working together on a subwatershed basis, sharing data and information and creating joint planning documents.

Clinton River Subwatershed

The local governments in the Clinton River Subwatershed (CRWC) have been working with community leaders, residents, citizens groups, businesses and environmental organizations located within the subwatershed, to get input on issues that will shape future community policies and regulations. Many of the communities within this subwatershed are teaming up to address one of the biggest threats to water quality in South East Michigan - non-point source pollution. This area has identified some of the non-point source pollution sources to be nutrients from failing septic systems, pesticides and fertilizer runoff from lawns, oil and grease from our roads and parking lots, sediment from construction sites, to name just a few.

Communities, agencies and organizations in the CREW are working together on a subwatershed-based approach for furthering public awareness of the impacts and causes of non-point source pollution and to develop a strategy to empower residents and businesses to address these causes in their daily routines.

Communities in the Clinton River East Subwatershed area recently held a stakeholder workshop and community forum to provide information on their subwatershed planning efforts and to ask for your ideas and suggestions. Updates on these events and their outcomes will be posted here as soon as they are available.

Southeast Michigan Partners for Clean Water

The Southeast Michigan Partners for Clean Water formed to engage the public in activities that protect our water resources through continued awareness, knowledge, and action. The partnership includes representatives from SEMCOG, various counties, communities, watershed councils, and water-quality professionals in southeast Michigan.