The Bear Creek Inter-County Drain Board launched the Clean Water Initiative in the fall of 2000. The goal of the project was to identify and eliminate sources of E. coli contamination in the Creek. The first step was to track down the sources of E. coli entering the watercourse through systematic sampling and testing of the Bear Creek and drains tributary to it.
The Bear Creek drainage district, located in southeast Michigan, encompasses 19 square miles of highly concentrated residential, commercial and industrial development. The area is served by a network of 29 smaller county drains that ultimately discharge to the Bear Creek and numerous other drains owned and operated by other jurisdictions, such as cities, county road commissions and the state.
The Bear Creek watershed includes the City of Center Line and most of the City of Warren in Macomb County and the eastern portions of the Cities of Madison Heights and Hazel Park in Oakland County. Most of the drains, including the Bear Creek, have been enclosed over the years, pursuant to petitions filed by local communities. Of 46 miles of drains in the Bear Creek watershed, 43 miles are enclosed, complicating the process of investigation.
The project has been broken into eight tasks:
Project status reports are written on a monthly basis detailing the progress of the project.
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