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GLWA, DWSD and Oakland County working together to reduce overflows into Rouge River

GLWA, DWSD and Oakland County working together to reduce overflows into Rouge River
February 11, 2021 Michigan Radio

 Steve CarmodyMichigan Radio

The Great Lakes News Collaborative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader; who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water. This independent journalism is supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Find all the work HERE.


Two major water system operators in southeast Michigan and Oakland County plan to work together to better control heavy storm water runoff.

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) and the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), along with Oakland County, plan to spend $68 million on three projects.  They want to prevent tens of millions of gallons of untreated rainwater from flowing into the Rouge River.

“It really is not just a typical grey infrastructure solution.  It’s going to benefit the people that live in the area” says Suzanna Coffey, GLWA’s Chief Planning Officer.

A DWSD official says climate change is increasing the intensity of storms that are stressing the current system.

“We may see an inch fall in ten minutes now…where before an inch may fall over the course of a 24 hour period,” says Palencia Mobley, DWSD’s Deputy Director, “We’re definitely responding to climate change and trying to anticipate how to best manage the system in the future.”

Once completed, these projects will prevent an estimated 48 million gallons of untreated rain water from flowing into the Rouge River per year.


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Michigan governor releases $500 million water infrastructure plan


Featured image: Rouge River from University of Michigan, Dearborn (Photo Credit: sharghzadeh via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

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