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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 09/11/13
WT OKs plan to build a
water storage facility
by KIMBERLY SCHERERThe plan to construct a water storage facility in Washington Township to help reduce water rate costs during peak hours was approved by the Board of Trustees.
Observer Special Writer
The board also approved a budget of $20,000 for township engineers to proceed with a preliminary engineering plan.
Pressure, total flow, max day and peak flow are the four items of which water rates are based. The township will have the ability to control those four with the construction of a water storage facility.
Mike Kozak, township engineer from Giffels-Webster, said that in addition to lowering the costs during peak hour demands, it will be good to have it for fire protection, emergency backup supply and reliability.
According to Township Clerk Kathy Bosheers, "There is the potential annual savings of over $600,000 to Washington Township once the technical feasibility of the facility's operation has been confirmed during its first year of operation."
The water storage facility will be able to control costs because the tank will be filled from 11 p.m. through 5 a.m., which are non-peak usage hours. The stored water will then be used during peak usage hours in the mornings and evenings instead of using the water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department's line.
Following the water feasibility study, several questions were answered. Kozak said they were the cost, demand, size, location and when to build.
It was determined a 1.5 million gallon tank would be a good size for the township. As for the location, Kozak said they looked first at the property the township already owns.
"A lot of it works really well," he said.
The recommended property is located behind Fire Station 2. Kozak said the location is ideal because it has the highest elevation, there's already a 16 inch water main in place and is relatively secluded.
As for what kind of storage facility would work the best, Kozak said a ground facility would be the most cost effective tank over time. The tank will be constructed out of pre-stressed concrete.
With an elevated storage facility, such as a water tower, savings are expected to begin in 2017. With a ground facility, those savings are expected to begin in 2016.
After the tank is built, the peak season will be metered. After that, the township will be able to renegotiate its rates with the DWSD.
Supervisor Dan O'Leary said the next step is the engineering process, followed with how it should be financed<with a bond or the water and sewer fund. That decision will take place in the next 30 to 60 days.
After that is in place and the tank is built, the next task will be to determine how the savings will be used. Options include giving the money back to the customers, using it to pay down the tank faster or a combination of the two.
The board voted to approve the design and due diligence work with an agreement to go back to the water and sewer committee with a detailed cost breakdown for its recommendations.