Skip to main content
Email Subscription

To sign up for email updates from Macomb County or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your email address. If you would like to subscribe for text alerts please select Text Updates in the drop-down menu.

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

Illicit Discharge Elimination Program



The Illicit Discharge Elimination Program (IDEP) was created through grant funding as an extension of the already successful Surface Water Improvement and Monitoring (SWIM) Team Program. IDEP is charged with the duties of searching out and inspecting illicit discharges in Macomb County. This is accomplished by surveying the open drains, streams, rivers and shorelines in the county and looking for illicit discharges. Suspicious discharges are sampled and investigated. If a problem is found, the county works diligently with the owner of the discharge to correct the problem.

70 million gallons per year

Estimated amount of wastewater prevented from discharging into Macomb County surface waters and Lake St. Clair:

 This has been accomplished by the Illicit Discharge Elimination Program:

• Surveying over 745 miles of open drains, including rivers and streams.  During these surveys, more than 5130 outfalls were identified and tested.

• Investigating 7134 residential, commercial, industrial and institutional facilities since 1998.

• From these investigations, 1236 or 17% were found to have an illicit discharge.  Illicit discharges include failing septic fields or a direct discharge to a river, stream, roadside ditch, ground surface or storm drain.  These discharges have either been corrected or are in the correction process.

To find out how you can help improve our lake, river, and stream water quality click here.

To find out more, select the corresponding topic on the left.


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

Other Resources

Great Lakes Information Network - Regional watershed information

Environmental Protection Agency - Beach standards and national monitoring