St. Clair County Drain Project

Client: St. Clair County Drain Commissioner
Location: St. Clair County, Michigan
Project Duration” 9 Years

Project Cost: $6,900,000.00
Key Personnel: Eric J. Ostling, PE


The Bunce Creek and Huffman Drain project is widely regarded as the largest, most complex drain project in St. Clair County history. The City of Marysville first filed a petition with the St. Clair County Drain Commissioner (SCCDC) in 1996, to address severe flooding problems in several areas. The Bunce Creek and Huffman Drain and branches culminate in the Main Branch of the Bunce Creek running through Marysville, on its way to the outlet beneath the Detroit Edison facility to the St. Clair River.


The drainage district is nearly twelve (12) square miles in size and includes portions of the Townships of Kimball and Port Huron, the City of Marysville, and the City of Port Huron.


There are nine (9) different tributaries of the creek, a total of nearly seventeen (17) miles of drain. Three (3) new drain branches were established, which involved obtaining new drain easements (Right of Ways) from dozens of landowners. Three (3) regional storm water detention areas were built, which included considerable land acquisition. Huron facilitated one of the regional detention areas in becoming a nature park and hiking trail for the City of Marysville. Huron was involved in all aspects of this project, including the design, permitting, land and easement acquisition, cost apportionment, construction bidding, construction surveying and inspection, and contract management.

Special Features

In order to avoid industry standard channelizing of the water courses, innovative methods developed by Dr. David Rosgen were used for stream morphology; meaning the natural features of the drains were restored and/or enhanced. Three regional detention basins were constructed. Each had a contributing area of about (1) square mile. In effect, nearly three (3) square miles of land were provided with detention and restricted discharge, roughly 25% of the total drainage district. According to the computer models, this should reduce the peak flow of the Main Branch at the outlet by about 25%.



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