Do You Know The Drain Detectives?

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator

If we were to take a quick survey and asked folks to name a famous detective, I’d bet everyone would have an answer such as Sherlock Homes or Axel Foley.

detectives

I’m also certain most are aware that our Police Department has highly trained detectives on hand to investigate crimes.  However, what are the odds that people would know that the City of Auburn Hills has Drain Detectives?  Yes, Drain Detectives!

The Drain Detectives consist of employees from the Department of Public Services (DPS) and Community Development Department and these “detectives” investigate reports of potential discharges of pollution into the City’s storm drain system and local waterways.

How do they do it?  Well, DPS staff look for signs of pollution and illegal dumping during their daily activities of managing the City’s storm drain system.  If they identify a problem, they use their investigative skills to trace the pollutant upstream to the source.  Once the source is identified, the City is able to take appropriate measures to assure the problem is addressed.

Staff watch for signs of illicit discharges, which range from discoloration around outfall pipes, odor, or the presence of a sheen on the water.

Staff watch for signs of illicit discharges, which range from discoloration around outfall pipes, odor, or the presence of a sheen on the water.

The City also watches the waters of the Clinton River very closely.  Staff from the Community Development Department monitor water samples from various locations along the river to determine if there are unusually high levels of e-coli.  If such a problem is detected, staff work together to help identify the source.

So, the next time you’re out fishing or kayaking on the Clinton River (or just enjoying the view) have some comfort in knowing that the City’s Drain Detectives are around to help assure our  waters remain pollution free.