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Posted: 01/01/14

WT decided to control its
water costs with storage

Observer Special Writer
      With saving township and taxpayer's money in mind, Washington Township went forward with a water storage facility in 2013.
       It was an idea tossed around at the end of 2012 and after running the numbers, the township decided it would be a good idea.
       The water storage facility will help reduce the township's water rate costs during peak hours. Pressure, total flow, max day and peak flow are four items that water rates are based off of. With the storage facility, the township will have the ability to control those four.
       Mike Kozak, township engineer from Giffels- Webster, said during an August meeting that in addition to lowering the costs during peak hour demands, it will be good to have for fire protection, emergency backup supply and reliability.
       Costs can be controlled with a storage facility 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.
       It was determined that a 1.5 million gallon tank would be a good size for the township. Instead of a tower, it will be a ground facility constructed out of pre-stressed concrete. The project will cost about $4 million.
       An estimate based on current rates figures that after the first year, there will be about $600,000-$700,000 in annual savings.
       Once in use and the peak season is metered, the township will be able to renegotiate their rates with the DWSD.
       The land they are strongly considering for the water storage facility will be a spot situated between Fire Station 2 and the water and sewer building.
       That location has a higher elevation, which makes it an ideal spot, and is township-owned property. There is also a 16 inch water main in place at the site and it's relatively secluded. Supervisor Dan O'Leary said the structure's plans will go before an advisory board and the Planning Commission to ensure that proper screening is in place and that it adheres to township ordinances.
       O'Leary had said during a September board meeting that it will likely be April 2014 when they take this project to bid.
       Currently, township engineers at Giffels- Webster are working on a cost break down for the board detailing cost estimates for what's next for the project. Also in the works is a topographical survey and geotechnical investigation for the proposed location. After that, the engineering design.
       Once the tank is built, the township will then determine how their water savings will be used. Options are to give it back to the customers, use it to pay down the tank faster or a combination of the two.

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Retrieved 4/24/2014 at 9:07:03 PM.
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