Environment & Sustainability

‚ÄčThe Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner's (WRC) Environmental Team implements and manages programs to protect and restore Oakland County's rivers, lakes and streams. The flow of water does not recognize political boundaries; therefore, the WRC works with communities and other stakeholders to protect the waterways.

The WRC is responsible for more than 500 miles of drainage systems that are called County Drains.

The WRC has completed several projects to limit pollution to our rivers, lakes and streams, including construction of combined sewer overflow facilities. The largest remaining source of pollution to our rivers, lakes and streams is nonpoint source pollution. Nonpoint source pollution comes from many different sources. It is caused by rainfall or snowmelt picking up pollutants from our yards, driveways and sidewalks and depositing them into lakes, rivers and streams. There are easy ways you can help prevent water pollution.

Many communities in Michigan, including Oakland County, are required to have a stormwater permit from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE, formerly the DEQ). This requirement is part of the Federal Clean Water Act and is referred to as the Phase II stormwater permit. The Environmental Team coordinates Phase II compliance activities for Oakland County as part of the Oakland County Stormwater Committee. Other Oakland County departments who have responsibility for Phase II activities include Facilities Management, Health Division, Parks and Recreation, Planning and Economic Development Services, Road Commission for Oakland County, and Waste Resource Management.

As part of the Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permitting process, WRC has developed new stormwater design standards for developments under the jurisdiction of WRC to meet the MS4 requirements. Oakland County developed the stormwater standards in coordination with the Regional Stormwater Standards Coordination Committee (RSSCC) consisting of representatives from Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, and Livingston counties along with stormwater experts from Southeast Michigan. Details regarding the new standards are located on the Stormwater Engineering Design Standards website (have a live link to the standards website for "Stormwater Engineering Design Standards").

Oakland County's Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) identifies the actions Oakland County will take to protect and restore the lakes, rivers and streams of Oakland County. These actions include public education, illicit discharge elimination, watershed-based planning and others.