Illegal dumping turned Clinton Township creek neon green, officials say

‘This goes into our drinking water, ... Don’t do that,’

Officials: Illegal dumping turned Clinton Township creek neon green
Officials: Illegal dumping turned Clinton Township creek neon green

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The mystery behind a Macomb County creek turning neon green has been solved.

The creek behind Dawn and Bill Coyne’s home is clear Friday, but it wasn’t Thursday.

The Clinton Township couple up to find the creek in their yard was a bright shade of green Thursday and called 911. Firefighters and hazmat teams came out. The Macomb County Public Works Office is investigating what could be a criminal matter.

The Coynes said the creek was glowing neon green. They believed somebody dumped something, but they didn’t know if it was an accident or what it was. It turns out about 20 gallons of antifreeze somehow got into the creek.

Macomb County Public Works commissioner Candice Miller is baffled that she needs to remind residents that antifreeze and storm drains do not mix.

“What we think happened here is somebody was probably de-winterizing a boat or RV,” Miller said. “Don’t put the old antifreeze down the old storm drains.”

The storm drains flow into the Clinton River and anything dumped into the drains could endanger pets and the natural fauna in the area.

Miller said her department is investigating and the person responsible will be prosecuted.

According to the county, the two greatest sources of water quality problems in the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair are polluted storm water runoff and illicit discharges.

The Macomb County Public Works Office’s Illicit Discharge Elimination Program has a 24-hour emergency hotline for reporting polluters. If you see a spill or an environmental issue, call 877-679-4337.

Related: Illegal dumpers using shuttered Burbank School in Detroit to leave mess


About the Authors:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.