DELTA TOWNSHIP MICH. — Delta Township plans to spend $80 million expanding and upgrading its wastewater treatment plant, saying the project is necessary because of aging infrastructure and increased standards from the state.
Construction is expected to start in May of 2022.
The plant currently handles roughly 6 million gallons of water per day. With the upgrade, that will increase to 8 million gallons per day.
Delta Township manager Brian Reed said the expansion is not due to population growth, "but industry and major water users.
"So over the years we’re at roughly treating 80 percent of our current design right now and usually, when you hit that mark, the state of Michigan wants you to start looking at upgrading your plant,” Reed says.
Amazon recently announced its first mid-Michigan fulfillment center will be located in Delta Township, but Reed said the township started planning the wastewater treatment plant expansion over three years ago.
“Obviously we plan for different types of growth in terms of industry, businesses, residential in the design but that did not directly have an affect on our plans,” Reed said.
The newest pieces of equipment at the plant is 35 years old and there are sections of the facility from the 1960s and 1970s.
Rick Kane, the utility director with the township, said they have experienced some equipment failures in the past few years but have been able to make the repairs in a short time. Looking ahead he said it makes sense to replace the equipment and stay ahead of it.
“Small repairs are something that can be done relatively easy," Kane said. "But as equipment ages and the failures become more catastrophic or larger in scope it’s just more man power and more funding to keep the old equipment operational."
Wastewater rates will go up to pay for the project. Reed said this past year residents saw a 7.25 percent increase and they will continue to go up that amount for the next four to five years.
“This is part of the infrastructure that people don’t see," Reed said. "When you turn on your faucet and when you flush your toilet or have water going down the drain you don’t want to have to think about it. So keeping our infrastructure up has been the major focus.”
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