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Dirty dozen: Sewage problems land Saginaw, Bay County on list for failing infrastructure

Wednesday, May 11, 2011   (0 Comments)
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More than 63 million gallons of raw or partially treated sewage was dumped into Saginaw's waters in the first four months of 2011, landing the county at the No. 5 spot on the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association's "Dirty Dozen" list.

The state's "Dirty Dozen" counties dumped more than 15 billion gallons of raw or partially treated sewage into the state's lakes, rivers and streams in the first four months of 2011, enough to fill more than 25,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, MITA said.

Out of 83 counties Saginaw ranked behind Wayne, Macomb, Bay and Ingham counties which dumped a combined total of more than 14 billion gallons of sewage into the streams, lakes and rivers.

Bay County ranked third on the "Dirty Dozen" list for the more than 88 million gallons of sewage that poured into the county's waterways. Kent, Genesee, Oakland, Monroe, Saint Clair, Gogebic and Lapeer rounded out the rest of the top twelve.

Counties that dumped more than 1 million gallons of sewage into their waters were ranked, though 12th ranked Lapeer recorded more than 4 million gallons dumped into its waters in the first four months of 2011.

The sewer discharges resulted from overloaded and aged sewer systems being flooded by heavy rains.

According to the MITA, communities are required by law to report discharges to the state Department of Environmental Quality within 24 hours. The initial reports are followed by more details which provided the information for the MITA to compile its list.

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