WARREN (WWJ) – The Macomb County Public Works is working to remove two sources of E. coli bacteria.

The first location is at an industrial business near 11 Mile and Bunert Road in Warren. The business’ sanitary sewer line – containing bathroom and possibly other waste – has been connected to the county storm water line, likely for many years. There is speculation that one or more other nearby businesses may also be incorrectly sending sanitary waste into the storm water pipe, which ultimately empties into Lake St. Clair.

Another source of E.coli contamination entering the Red Run Drain has been found in Warren in the 14 Mile and Schoenherr area. The very low volume of flow in the drain in that area is making it difficult to take samples and identify the specific point source of the pollution there. It could be residential or it could be animal waste.

The investigation in to the source of pollution is continuing.

“We are now working with the city and the business to fix this issue. We find it, we fix it,” Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said in a statement. “We have to eliminate this first source before we can re-investigate the storm drain along 11 Mile Road for any other illicit connections. If we find more, we will work with Warren to ensure the necessary corrections are made.”

The county has contracted with a firm to conduct a series of inspections of the entire Schoenherr Relief Drain, which runs along Schoenherr from 9 Mile Road north to a connection with the Red Run Drain.

“This is part of our plan to inspect all of the major storm drains in Macomb County. We recently completed similar inspections in St. Clair Shores, Roseville, Eastpointe and Sterling Heights. Last February, we found an entire apartment complex in Eastpointe that had been sending sanitary sewage down a storm drain for 30 years. Working with the city, we found it and we fixed it. We are eager to work with our local units of government on this in every corner of the county,” Miller said.

The Red Run Drain begins as an underground pipe in Oakland County, flows as an open stream through Warren and Sterling Heights before connecting with the Clinton River in Clinton Township and then ultimately flowing to Lake St. Clair.

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