The project involved installing a new wet well at the site.

The project involved installing a new wet well at the site.

Photo provided by the Macomb County Public Works Office

Hildebrandt station gets pumped along Hayes Road

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published November 6, 2020


STERLING  HEIGHTS — A repaired drain pump station should prevent storms from raining on anyone’s parade in northeastern Sterling Heights, according to city and county officials.

The Macomb County Public Works Office and other local officials gathered Oct. 29 at the Hildebrandt Pump Station project, located at Hayes Road, south of 19 Mile Road. Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller attended the event with Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool and Macomb County Commissioner Joseph Romano, R-Sterling Heights.

The drain’s purpose is to collect storm water for over 330 acres in a predominantly residential zone, draining it into a wet well and pumping it beneath the surface to curb floods.

Miller saw the area after she stepped into her role in 2017, and she explained how it was clear that the pumps were decades old and getting close to conking out.

“Like many other pieces of critical infrastructure, it had been neglected and needed a complete overhaul,” Miller said in a statement. “If we hadn’t replaced the equipment, these neighborhoods could have flooded very easily last August. In this time of COVID-19 and when we’re all trying to be safe, one of the last things any of us needs right now is a flooded home.”

So the pump replacement project started last March. Workers reportedly had to install a new concrete wet well and two new pumps. They also reportedly took sediment and phragmites out of a detention basin.

According to public works officials, the Public Works Office’s supervisory control and data acquisition system will remotely observe the station’s performance for smooth operations, thereby alerting them right away if something is wrong.

The county also made some environmental and landscaping changes, such as putting in mulch and grass seeds, as well as some trees along Hayes Road, with the expectation of new fencing to come.

Sterling Heights reportedly paid for the project with an existing $840,000 in drain funds.

Workers oversaw a trial run of the new equipment Aug. 27 during a storm that dumped around 3 inches of rain, and they were pleased at the results.  

After the event, Romano praised Miller for her leadership and said local homeowners will benefit from the cleanout.

“There’s probably over 300 homes in that area,” Romano said. “And what it’ll do is guarantee that there will be no flooding in basements. It’s one of (the) projects that our commissioner, Candice Miller, has going. Keep that in mind — she is doing that to a lot of the pump stations and renovating them.”

In September, Miller and other public works officials appeared before the Sterling Heights City Council to update them on what the office has been doing to infrastructure in the city. During that time, she and other officials referenced storm water management and plantings at the Sterling Relief Drain, as well as cleanup and fixes at the Gibson/Plumbrook Drain.

According to Miller’s office, it has had other Sterling Heights projects on its plate recently, including the Red Run Drain and additional work at the Sterling Relief Drain. Plus, there is the grouting and lining of the Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District Interceptor’s Segment 5, along 15 Mile Road, the office said.  

“During my second year as public works commissioner, our office worked closely with city officials to inspect at least eight sewers along major roads in Sterling Heights because some things hadn’t been taken care of,” Miller added in an email.

Find out more about the Macomb County Public Works Office by visiting Find out more about Sterling Heights by visiting or by calling (586) 446-2489.