According to the Stage 1 Remedial Action Plan, Beach Closures was listed as one of the St. Mary’s River ten Beneficial Use Impairments due to periodic advisories against swimming and total body contact activities. In Michigan, these advisories were typically due to combined sewer overflows (CSOs). Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan in is the final stages of completing a 25-year effort to separate the sanitary and storm sewers and prevent CSOs. Updates regarding this project are available at the City of Sault Sainte Marie, MI website.
Info Regarding the Beach Closings BUI in Michigan
Michigan BeachGuard – check to see if your beach is closed!
Guidance for Delisting Beach Closures – the Michigan Guidance for Delisting states that when “no waterbodies within the AOC are included on the list of non-attaining waters due to human pathogens in the most recent Clean Water Act Water Quality and Pollution Control in Michigan: Section 303(d) and 305(b) Integrated Report, which is submitted to USEPA every two years,” the BUI will be considered restored. Alternatively, if waterbodies in the AOC are on the list of non-attaining waters due to human pathogens, the BUI will be considered restored when human sources of pathogens regulated under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) are on schedule to be controlled through implementation of permit requirements.
In summary, this means that if local waters meet the state’s water quality criteria for potentially harmful bacteria, or if all the point (discrete, identifiable) sources of bacteria have a plan to control the bacteria, the BUI will be considered restored. See below for the 2014 list of waters not meeting the state’s water quality criteria, and other documents that the list refers to.