Things You May Not Have Known about Water & Sewer Service

Things You May Not Have Known about Water & Sewer Service

(Crystal A. Proxmire, June 11, 2018)

Southfield, MI- Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash is in the midst of a series of visits to local libraries with a presentation on Water Infrastructure 101.

Recently in Southfield he shared some basics and little known facts about our water and drainage systems.

Did you know:

-Most water and sewer systems in Oakland County have been in operation for 70-100 years, well past their 50-year expected life span.

-When communities combine efforts, they save money.  The North Oakland County Water Authority NOCWA saves $3 ½ million per year by combining their purchasing power.

-Water towers help communities save money. They fill up during non-peak hours at night when rates are lower. Farmington Hills spent $8 million to build theirs and is saving $3 million a year. It will be paid off in three years and have ongoing savings after that.

-If you see black cloths or plastic fencing around construction projects it’s to help keep soil from eroding into nearby waterways or drains.

-It’s important to fix infrastructure pieces before they break.  It costs 3-5 times as much to make repairs in reaction to problems than do preventative maintenance.

-Green infrastructure such as rain gardens, permeable pavement, and rain barrels can prevent drainage system wear and flooding.

-Water coming out of processing plants is tested every hour.

-If you have a well you should have water tested each year.

-Fats, oils and grease can clog drainage systems. At homes and in restaurants it can cause damage to throw oil into toilets or sinks.

-“Flushable” wipes, feminine products and baby wipes cause clogs in the pumps of the system.

-The Pontiac Waste Treatment plant can treat 30 million gallons of waste per day.

-Water Resources Commission uses dams, weirs, and augmentation wells to maintain lake levels, which are mandated by law.

-Oakland County had 28 beach closing in 2017, much of which is caused by chemical run off from lawns contaminating the water. Creating a buffer of native plants between lawn and lake can prevent this.

-The Oakland County Health Division is responsible for wells, septic systems, lakes and beaches.

-The Department of Environmental Quality estimates that 20-28% of septic systems are failing in Michigan.

The presentation gave a wealth of additional infrastructure information, and Nash was welcoming of questions. These are just a few of the facts he shared.

Check out future presentations at:

Pontiac Public Library – June 16, 2018

Brandon Public Library – June 21, 2018

Royal Oak Public Library – September 23, 2018

Oxford Public Library – October 10, 2018

Rochester Hills Public Library – October 25, 2018

Bloomfield Township Public Library – November 15, 2018

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