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Macomb County Avoids Dumping Waste Into Clinton River Amid Heavy Rains

FRASER (WWJ) -- Residents in Macomb County avoided having an already messy day turn messier.

After a day of heavy rain, Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said crews were able to successfully avoid discharging any raw sewage into the Clinton River as work continues on the Fraser sinkhole site.

"We are cautiously optimistic that we are not going to have to dump raw sewage in the Clinton River," Miller said Tuesday. "We had a rather intense rain event today by our rain gauges in this immediate area -- about 0.9 inches of rain. Regardless of all of that, we think we're OK here."

Crews were able to shut down a pump station north of the sinkhole site, buying time for rainwater to run through the collapsed 11-foot interceptor under 15 Mile Rd.

Until work on a temporary sewer bypass at the collapse site near 15 Mile between Utica Rd. and Hayes Rd. is complete next month, Miller says every big rain until then will pose a threat.

"If we have a very heavy rain, a very intense rain in a short period of time -- intensity is the key -- we just can't handle it," Miller said.

Meantime, officials are still urging residents to be mindful of their water usage in the meantime.

"We need to ask people to continue to restrict their water usage," Miller said. "I know it sounds like we're crying wolf here -- we really are not. This is sort of our life until we get the temporary bypass built, which probably won't happen until the first part of March. At that point, we can all take a breath."

Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon told WWJ Newsradio 950 back in December that crews pumped sewage into the Clinton River as a way to alleviate possible flooding in nearby homes the day after the sinkhole opened.

About 20 homes on Eberlein Dr. — near 15 Mile Rd. and Hayes Rd. — were evacuated over the Christmas holiday weekend after a massive sinkhole began opening up underneath part of the neighborhood.

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