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Prepared in cooperation with the Lake St. Clair Regional Monitoring Project , Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne Counties

Bacteria and Emerging Chemical Contaminants in the St. Clair River/ Lake St. Clair Basin, Michigan

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1083

By Lisa R. Fogarty

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Since the enactment of the Clean Water Act in 1972, awareness of the quality of the Nation’s water has continued to improve. Despite improvements to wastewater-treatment systems and increased regulation on waste discharge, bacterial and chemical contamination is still a problem for many rivers and lakes throughout the United States. Pathogenic microorganism and newly recognized chemical contaminants have been found in waters that are used for drinking water and recreation (Rose and Grimes, 2001; Kolpin and others, 2002).


This summary of bacteria and emerging-chemical-contaminant monitoring in the St. Clair River/Lake St. Clair Basin (fig. 1) was initiated by the Lake St. Clair Regional Monitoring Project (LSCRMP) in 2003, in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), the Counties of Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).


Fogarty, L. R.—Bacteria and Emerging Chemical Contaminants in the St. Clair River/Lake St. Clair Basin, Michigan—Open-File Report 2007-1083 Date Posted: May 16, 2007:



Why Should We Care About Microorganisms In Surface Water?

Microbiological Water-Quality Standards In Michigan

Why Are We Concerned About Emerging Chemical Contaminants In Surface Waters?

Where Do Bacteria And Emerging Contaminants Come From?

Where Do Bacteria Impair The Waters Of The St. Clair River/Lake St. Clair Basin?

What Were the Results Of E. coli Monitoring In The Streams?

Were There Seasonal And Spatial Patterns In E. coli Concentrations In Stream Waters?

Have Pathogens Been Found In The Basin?

What Emerging Chemical Contaminants Have Been Detected In The St. Clair River/Lake St.Clair Basin?

What Is Being Done To Protect The Beaches Of Lake St. Clair

References Cited


1-2. Maps showing-

1. Lake St. Clair, Michigan, with United States tributary drainage basins

2. Location of Clinton River sites sampled as part of the Macomb County Surface WaterMonitoring Program

3-6. Graphs showing-

3. Median E. coli concentrations decreased from greater than the Michiganrecreational water-quality single sample geometric mean standard of 300 CFU/100ml (solid red line) in 2000 and 2001 to less than 300 CFU/100 ml in 2002 and 2003

4. Sites along the Clinton River often did not meet Michigan's recreational water-qualitystandard (300 CFU/100 ml) and partial body contact standard (1000 CFU/100 ml) forE. coli

5. E. coli concentrations at sites located on Red Run just prior to discharge to theClinton River and the Clinton River upstream and downstream of the Red Run

6. Seasonal variations in E. coli concentrations for samples collected from the Clinton River 2000-2005 as part of the Macomb County Surface Water Monitoring Program

7. Map showing that E. coli concentrations may vary upstream and downstream along the river and throughout the county

8. Graph showing that beach closures have been a problem for four public beaches on Lake St. Clair

What Is Being Done To Protect The Beaches Of Lake St. Clair

References Cited


1. The most common wastewater chemicals detected in the Clinton River watershed in 2002 and 2003

For additional information, contact:

U.S. Geological Survey
Michigan Water Science Center
6520 Mercantile Way, Suite 5
Lansing, MI 48911-5991
or visit our Web site at:


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