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Au Sable River will be cleaner thanks to new filtration units
$1 million Stormwater Project will cut out oil, sediments

http://www.mlive.com/news/bctimes/index.ssf?/base/news-9/117976054496950.xml&coll=4

05/21/07 By JEFF KART TIMES WRITER

The city of Grayling has reached an important milestone in its efforts to keep one of the nation's premier trout fishing and canoeing streams clean for current and future generations, a nonprofit group says.

Earlier this month, contractors used a crane to install the final of seven Vortechnic units, or oil-grease separators, in downtown Grayling. The units work by filtering out oils and sediments from rainwater runoff, allowing cleaner water to flow into the river, said Jennifer Muladore, an ecologist with Huron Pines, a nonprofit group in Grayling.

The installation of the last unit means that Grayling has addressed all nine major outfalls of stormwater into the river through different best management practices, or actions like the units, detention ponds, or rain gardens that filter and absorb polluted runoff from a neighborhood south of downtown.

The efforts are part of the Grayling Stormwater Project, a pilot project by the state and city to improve the water quality of the Au Sable River, meaning cleaner, colder water for trout and a more beautiful river for canoeing and other recreation, Muladore said.

The last unit was installed on May 10 near Ray's Canoe Livery and The Fly Factory, owned by Steve Southard.

''To our knowledge, this may be the first and only example in Michigan, and possibly in the whole country, that such a community-wide pro-active effort has been undertaken to protect a high-quality stream such as the Au Sable from potential degradation caused by stormwater discharges,'' Southard said in a statement.

Funding for the $1 million project was provided by a grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and local matching funds from the city of Grayling, the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Trout Bum Bar-B-Q, the Paul H. Young Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Michigan Fly Fishing Club and other local groups and individuals, Muladore said.
 

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I think that one day in the future storm water filtration will be required in every municipality with storm drains, and I am looking forward to that day. Good to see it happening right here in our state and in a community nestled in a region of great trout streams.
 
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