Posted August 11th, 2023
Posted August 11th, 2023
Aug. 9, 2023
Contact: Norb Franz, Macomb County Public Works communications manager
Chapaton Canal rehabilitation, major electrical upgrades underway in St. Clair
Fewer sewage discharges into Lake St. Clair and a greatly reduced risk of basement flooding will be
the outcome of two new major infrastructure projects announced Wednesday by officials in
“Improving Lake St. Clair water quality is the ultimate goal, and aging infrastructure must be
upgraded and designed to be prepared for the huge rain events of the future, which are happening
more often and with higher intensity,” Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice S.
Neither of the two projects will result in an increase to ratepayers.
The first project is the $27 million rehabilitation of the canal at the Chapaton Pump Station and
Retention Treatment Basin, located at the foot of Nine Mile Road, east of Jefferson Avenue in St.
Clair Shores. It involves excavation of a portion of the existing canal and the installation of metal
sheeting to raise the sides of the canal to provide an additional 13 million gallons of storage of
combined stormwater and sanitary flow when needed during large rain events. This is expected to
reduce combined sewer overflows by approximately 38 percent. The new sheeting will raise the top
of the treatment canal above the 500-year flood elevation, further protecting adjacent properties
from flooding. Additionally, the outdated outfall gates will be replaced with new ones to allow
pump station operators to better control water levels in the open-storage canal and the underground
“This infrastructure improvement to the canal is a major improvement with its increased storage
capacity. The new gates will help us better protect the sewer collection systems and prevent
basement flooding for residents and businesses in the drainage district area that includes all of
Eastpointe and most of St. Clair Shores,” Miller said.
The construction will be paid using $25 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds from the state,
plus a $2 million allocation from the state last year.
“This project is another critical step in our continued effort to reduce combined sewer overflows to
protect Lake St. Clair and stop basement flooding. I will continue to partner with Commissioner
Miller to improve our infrastructure in Macomb County,” state Sen. Kevin Hertel said.
Construction now underway is expected to take approximately 24 months to complete, during
which time the boat launch will be closed.
The construction contractor is Z Contractors, a Macomb County company that was the low bidder.
The second new project outlined Wednesday involves the extensive upgrade of the electrical
systems at the pump station. It includes the addition of three, 2-megawatt generators to provide
power redundancy to the giant pumps, and replacement of electrical components, all of which date
back to when the facility became operational in 1968.
“This project is needed to prevent station failure that would result in sewage backing up into
basements and neighborhoods,” Miller said.
The $16 million project will be paid using $9.5 million American Rescue Plan Act funding
allocated by the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, and $6 million in ARPA funding from
“Projects like this illustrate the commitment that the Macomb County Board of Commissioners and
other county officials have toward reducing CSOs, reducing the risk of basement flooding and
protecting the environment. We’re really making a difference and hope our friends in the region
will follow our lead,” board Chairman Don Brown said.
St. Clair Shores Mayor Kip Walby said: “St. Clair Shores will always remain synonymous with
Lake St. Clair, so reducing combined sewer overflows and improving infrastructure – especially as
we all experience large rain events with increasing frequency — is vital for our city to remain a very
desirable place to live and play for generations to come. I applaud our county and state officials for
having the vision and determination to design, fund and construct projects such as these, especially
with no increase to the ratepayers.”
“Our office is committed to upgrading our critical underground wastewater infrastructure
throughout Macomb County,” Miller added. “We are focused on improving residents’ quality of
life, and we believe that improving water quality and protecting against flooding are marquis
elements of that commitment.”
Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice S. Miller announces $43 million in new projects at the Chapaton Pump Station and Retention Treatment Basin to reduce combined sewer overflows and reduce the risk of basement flooding, during a press conference held Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023. Also speaking to reporters were, from left, state Sen. Kevin Hertel, Macomb County Board of Commissioners Chairman Don Brown and St. Clair Shores Mayor Kip Walby.
Standing with an engineer’s rendering of the Chapaton Canal infrastructure rehabilitation project are, from left, Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice S. Miller, state Sen. Kevin
Hertel, St. Clair Shores Mayor Kip Walby and Macomb County Board of Commissioners Chairman Don Brown.
Engineer’s rendering of the completed rehabilitation of the Chapaton Canal in St. Clair Shores. The
construction project, which was started this month and is expected to be completed in August 2025,
will significantly reduce combined sewer overflows into Lake St. Clair.