4-year study finds excessive pollutants in 3 Mich. rivers

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DETROIT (AP) — Scientists have found a significant presence of organic waste compounds in three Michigan rivers.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the Rouge and Clinton rivers in southeastern Michigan and the St. Joseph River in southwestern Michigan have pollutants from car exhaust, smokestacks, herbicides and detergents.

The U.S. Geological Survey sampled water throughout the Great Lakes region from 2010 through 2013. The Free Press says some organic waste compounds were 10 times higher than water-quality benchmarks.

Government hydrologist Austin Baldwin says the Rouge and Clinton rivers were “among the worst sites … almost across the board.” He says the compounds can cause changes in fish.

The report found water-quality standards were exceeded in 35 percent of hundreds of samples taken from 57 tributaries in the Great Lakes basin.

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1 Comment

  • rory

    Growing up near the Clinton River near what used to be Sterling Twp, I can tell you that the river has always been dangerously polluted. There were no fish in the Clinton River then, (early 60’s) but in the 70’s, there was a massive effort to clean up Michigan waterways, including Lake Erie, which was joked about that one could roller skate on it because it was so polluted.
    Back then, the Clinton river stunk to high heaven, I remember as I pedaled my bike across some bridges spanning the river. Now, where the river empties into Lake St. Clair, it is one of the best places locally to fish. Lake Erie also, is now a major walleye fishery. I must say it is much better now than in decades past.