May 10, 2021

Oakland County, Michigan, Standards Will Reduce Polluted Runoff Entering Waterways

New standards to help reduce the amount of polluted and untreated storm water that enters waterways are underway in Michigan counties and Detroit.

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Michigan’s Oakland County Water Resources Commissioners (WRC) Office is in the process of implementing new standards to help reduce the amount of polluted and untreated storm water that enters waterways.

The storm water engineering design standards will take effect on May 31, 2021. 

The standards will establish minimum requirements for the design, construction, and maintenance of all storm water systems, reported Water Commissioner Jim Nash's press release. This includes 1-acre or greater of construction activity that connects directly to an Oakland County drain, stream or underground pipe, or retention pond that collects storm water runoff. 

The new standards will help reduce the amount of polluted and untreated storm water runoff entering sewer systems, which is later discharged into local bodies of water following the completion of storm water improvement projects. 

The standards will also:

  • Ensure consistent and straightforward standards that meet permit requirements
  • Ensure long-term operation and maintenance of stormwater systems
  • Improve water quality, channel and infrastructure protection
  • Promote consistent storm water reporting, tracking and mapping
  • Promote volume reducing low impact development (LID) measures

According to Nash, the new standards were developed in close coordination with Wayne, Macomb, and Livingston counties, the city of Detroit. There will be a generally consistent set of standards across the region, reported Nash's press release. 

“We’re confident that communities within Oakland County will appreciate how straightforward these standards are,” said Nash. “This was a goal of our regional collaboration effort from day one. Changes to meet local needs are expected, but they may require approval from EGLE.”

Local municipalities may elect more restrictive standards, however, added the press release. The standards are expected to be adopted by local communities later this year.

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