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Rouge River Project

Rouge River Project
We all Can Make A

Storm drains exist to reduce flooding. If not treated properly, storm drains can release pollutants into the waterways. All who live and work in the Rouge River Watershed area (all the land area, surface and underground waterways that drain into the Rouge River) have the potential to pollute the river, or help restore it to health.

Did you know that every time oil or antifreeze is dumped down a storm drain, we pollute the river? Pollution also comes from polluted storm water runoff that enters the storm drains during a rain storm or snow melt. Fertilizers, pesticides, oil and grease from cars and bacteria from pet waste can also pollute.

Voluntary actions can help prevent pollution into the Rouge River, including:

- Lawn Care - Keep fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides off paved survaces and out of drainage paths. When choosing a fertilizer, select a slow release formula. Fertilize in September or October to promote root growth rather than top growth.

- Automobile Maintenance - Direct polluted was water away from streetts and storm drains. Instead of washing your car in the driveway or street, wash your car on your lawn or better - go to a car wash.

- Animal Waste - Clean up animal waste before it washes into the storm drain. You can throw it in the trash, preventing bacteria from entering the Rouge.

- Home Care - Disconnect downspouts from sewer systems and direct them to vegetated areas away from building foundations. When cleaning up spills and leaks do not use your hose as a broom.

- Toxic Materials - Properly dispose of household hazardous waste and call your local community to find out if they ahve a collection day. An even better solution is to use nontoxic alternatives whenever possible.

- Get Involved - Citizens can also join Friends of the Rouge and/or participate in Rouge River Watch, storm drain stenciling, or other Rouge friendly neighborhood activities. Call (313) 792-9900 for information.

Rouge River Project

Friends of the Rouge
Friends of the Rouge (FOTR) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that was founded in 1986 to raise awareness about the need to clean up the Rouge River in southeast Michigan. The mission of the Friends of the Rouge is to restore, protect, and enhance the Rouge River watershed through stewardship, education, and collaboration. Friends of the Rouge provides an online website full of wonderful information, tips and instructions. They also host various community events to promote clean waterways. For more information:

Friends of the Rouge Contact Information

Friends of the Rouge

4901 Evergreen Road, APC
Dearborn, MI 48128
(313) 792-9900

About the Rouge River Watershed
Practicing Friendly Lawn Care 

Friends of the Rouge Events
The Friends of the Rouge River Project host many events during the year, including the Raise One for the Rouge, Land + Water WORKS Coalition, Bug Hunt Events and Trainings, Rouge Rescues, Fish Survey Events, Rouge Paddling Trips, Free Press Marathon, Merriman Hollow Work, and more. To view their calendar, visit Friends of the Rouge Event Calendar.

Rouge River Watershed Map of Oak Park

Oak Park, in green on the map below, is part of the Rouge River Watershed area.

DPW rouge_river_map

Stormwater Management Plan
The following is the City of Oak Park's Storm Water Management Plan for the River Rouge Watershed area (Greenfield & Eight Mile Road.) This file includes our permit application for discharge of stormwater to Surface Waters of the state from a municipal separate storm sewer system.

The file also includes the standard operating procedures for enforcement response, post-construction stormwater runoff control, and general procedures for pollution prevention and good housekeeping for the River Rouge Project.

Stormwater Management Plan

If you have any questions about the SWMP please email Kara Grisamer at 

Report Illicit and Illegal Discharges

Careless or intentional acts of illicit and illegal dumping are not only expensive to remedy, but they have long-term affects on the health of the Rouge River. These can include toilets connected to storm sewers, laundry waste discharging to a drain, swimming pool backwash water discharge to a storm sewer or polluting material on land that enters storm sewers.

If you see an illicit or illegal discharge, please report it immediately. If you see dumping, call 9-1-1.

24-Hour Pollution Hotlines

First call Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Pollution Emergency Alerting System (PEAS) at (800) 292-4706.

Then call the appropriate county:
Oakland County Water Resource 24-Hour Pollution Hotline at (248) 858-0931
Wayne County
at (734) 222-3880
Washtenaw County
at (888) 223-2363

National Response Center 
at (800) 424-8802

For more information, visit

Oakland County Water Resource Commission

The Oakland County Water Resource Commissioner's Office provides quality water supply, drainage systems and sewage disposal systems in a way that keeps the environment safe and promotes responsible growth. To learn more about the responsibilities of the Water Resource Commissioner's office, visit Oakland County Water Resource Commissioner.

Oakland County Water Resource Commission Contact Information

Jim Nash, Water Resource Commissioner
Water Resources Commissioner
One Public Works Drive, Building 95 West
Waterford, MI 48328-1907
(248) 858-0958 (do not use for emergencies)

Water and Sewer 24-Hour Emergency - (248) 624-6366

For more information:
Brochure on Water Resources, visit  Water Resource Brochure 
Oakland County Water Resource Website,
Information on the Oakland County Water Commissioner,
More Information on Water Pollution, visit  Illicit and Illegal Discharges.
Events, visit Oakland County Water Resource Commissioner Events.

Great Lakes Water Authority

On January 1, 2016, the City of Detroit, the counties of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne, and the State of Michigan officially formed the Great Lakes Water Authority, or GLWA.  The GLWA begins management and control of regional water and wastewater services to retain control of water and sewer services.  The GLWA has six board members, including two from the City of Detroit,;and one each from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties; and one from the State of Michigan. Their first prioirities are to include water quality and collaboration with member communities, highlight infrastructure improvements,  charge structures, and make decisions on the environmental approach.

Great Lake Water Authority Contact

Great Lakes Water Authority
735 Randolph, Suite 1900
Detroit, MI 48226
General Information: (844) 455-4592

Report Emergencies - Main Breaks or Leaks:
- City of Detroit Water Main Breaks Emergency (313) 267-7401
- Metro Detroit Residents, call your local Department of Public Works (for Oak Park (248) 691-7497)
- Wholesale Costumer Emergency, contact GLWA's Systems Control Center (313) 267-6000

Helpful Links

Environmental Protection Agency
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy--EGLE (Formerly the MDEQ)