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Health Department
Health and Community Services
43525 Elizabeth Road, Mount Clemens, MI 48043
(586) 469-5235

Lake St. Clair Regional Monitoring Project


In 2004 and 2005, in response to citizens concerns about public health issues such as beach closings, drinking water threats and fish consumption advisories, a unique water quality monitoring program was conducted by the Macomb County Health Department in Lake St. Clair and the surrounding watersheds, including areas in two neighboring counties. The project, consisting of an assessment of water and sediment quality, was funded by a $2.5 million grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). This included continuous water quality monitoring at 13 fixed stations; automatic and manual grab sampling during 10 wet weather events; continuous and manual streamflow measurements at 23 locations and rainfall monitoring at five locations. Samples were analyzed for numerous physical, chemical and biological parameters. Application of mathematical modeling and statistical analyses will lead to scientifically sound findings regarding overall water quality conditions and pollutant loadings. Over 28,000 quality-assured test results were conducted during this monitoring project.

The monetary appropriation was the direct result of actions by a voluntary advocacy group, the Macomb County Water Quality Board. Very little scientific evaluation of Lake St. Clair water quality had taken place in the last 20 years and MDEQ had no plans for intensive monitoring despite concerns regarding pollutant loadings to Lake St. Clair. The project was implemented through contractual arrangements with private sector firms, the MCHD and the United States Geological Survey, Michigan Water Science Center.

Lake St. Clair Regional Monitoring Project reports are available below:

Areal Distribution, Concentration of Contaminants of Concern in Surficial Streambed and Lakebed Sediments, Lake St. Clair and Tributaries, Michigan, 1990 - 2003 [U.S.G.S., 2006-5189]:  Describes the spatial distribution and concentrations of contaminants of concern in streambed and lakebed sediments in the U.S. part of the Lake St. Clair Basin, including tributaries to Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, and Lake St. Clair.


Bacteria and Emerging Chemical Contaminants in the St. Clair River/Lake St. Clair Basin, Michigan [U.S.G.S., 2007-1083]:  A summary of bacteria and emerging-chemical-contaminant monitoring in the St. Clair River/Lake St. Clair Basin.

Cooperative Water-Resources Monitoring in the St. Clair River/Lake St. Clair Basin, Michigan [U.S.G.S., 2007-1148]:  Describes cooperative efforts for monitoring streamflows and flood magnitudes, past and present water-quality conditions, significant human-health threats, and flow-regine changes that are the result of changing land use.

Estimation of Nonpoint-Source Loads of Total Nitrogen, Total Phosphorous, and Total Suspended Solids in the Black, Belle, and Pine River Basins, Michigan, by Use of the PLOAD Model [U.S.G.S., 2006-5071]:  Utilizes the USEPA's PLOAD Model to assess nonpoint-source loads of nutrients and total-suspended solids in the Black, Belle, and Pine River basins.

Inland Lake Sediment Sampling and Analysis Report [Macomb County Health Department, January 2005]:  An evaluation of sediment quality in four inland lakes (Sylvan Lake, Loon Lake, Lake Orion and Lakeville Lake) located within Oakland County.

Selected Findings - Lake St. Clair Regional Monitoring Project [Macomb County Health Department, June 2007]:  A brief narrative of selected Project findings in the areas of E. coli, nutrients, chloride, wet weather impacts on water quality, and tributaries and Lake St. Clair.

Stream-Water Quality during Storm-Runoff Events and Low-Flow Periods in the St. Clair River/Lake St. Clair Basin, Michigan [U.S.G.S., 2007-1201]:  Describes four water-quality studies in the St. Clair River/Lake St. Clair Basin from the early 1970's through 2005.

Water Quality in Lake St. Clair and its Tributaries - Report of the Lake St. Clair Regional Monitoring Project [Macomb County Health Department, October 2007]:  A comprehensive assessment of the hydrological, microbiological, chemical and physical state of the surface water of Lake St. Clair and its tributaries.

Water Quality Investigations Sylvan Lake and Lake Angelus, Oakland County, Michigan [U.S.G.S., January 2005]:  Assessment of the trophic indices and documented baseline water-quality characteristics of Sylvan Lake and Lake Angelus.  Also included are data from investigations conducted in 2003 of Lake Orion near Orion and Lakeville Lake near Lakeville.

Water Quality of the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, and Their U.S. Tributaries, 1946 - 2005 [U.S.G.S., 2007-5172]:  Comprehensive assessment of the hydrological, chemical, and physical state of the surface water of Lake St. Clair and its tributaries.

Water Quality Sampling & Analysis - Final Report [ECT, June 2007]:  Assesses the water quality in the streams tributary to the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair to characterize the quality of surface water entering Lake St. Clair by collecting physical, hydrological, bacterial, and chemical data during dry and wet weather conditions.

For further information about the Lake St. Clair Regional Monitoring Project, go to


If you have any questions, call Gary White at 586-469-5236, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. or E-mail us now.