No correlation between Combined Sewer Overflows and Beach Closings from 2002 to date.
The City of Grand Rapids provided combined sewer overflow (CSO) data to a research group from the University of Michigan. The group is working to create a model to forecast beach closings. The data provided was all the CSO events from 2002 to date. CSOs in the past were blamed for many beach closings and other negative impacts on the environment. The City of Grand Rapids has been working diligently to separate our sewers and eliminate the in system CSO discharges. Over 99% of the CSO discharges have been eliminated and there is positive affirmation that the efforts are creating tangible results.
Environmental Services is excited to share a recent email, which is the latest confirmation of achievement:
Thanks for the CSO data. I looked at the times where E. coli had high values at both North Beach Park and Grand Haven State Park. There were no CSOs occurring within even a week of these values. Since water in the Grand River takes less slightly less than 24 hours ( under normal flow rates) to arrive at Lake Michigan it is clear that CSO's had no direct relation with the bacterial levels at these beaches.
David Rockwell MS MBA
Beach Water Quality Forecasting Coordinator Center of Excellence for Great Lakes and Human Health Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research University of Michigan “
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