Engineers outline township sewer plan, districts

By Shelby Stewart-Soldan
Staff Writer
Brandon Twp. — During the regular Monday night meeting, the Rowe Engineering presented the Brandon Township board with the preliminary sewer plan for the township.
“Ultimately, the wastewater is going to go to the Genesee County Drain Commissioners Office division of wastewater services, up in Montrose,” said Scott Hemeyer, project manager and engineer. “In their short-term, five-year plan they plan on extending the Kearsley Creek interceptor and that will extend down to Oakland County.”
The project will bring sewer lines down from Grand Blanc into Oakland County via Dixie Highway, then over to Brandon Township and the village of Ortonville. The project will take several years, and cost around $80 million total.
The presentation showed the 12 different districts that would connect to the main sewer lines in the township.
“The study was completed in 2021,” said Hemeyer. “Last we talked to the Water Resources Commission, they were looking at getting the project design ready, but they’re still looking for funding for the project, so they’re thinking they won’t break ground for another 5-7 years. So we have a little time to plan.”
He said that the area soil was not good for septic fields, but would work well for the two types of sewer collection systems that take the waste water to an interceptor.
“So gravity sanitary sewers are the traditional way to go, they operate primarily by gravity,” said Hemeyer. “The other system we looked at is a low pressure collection system, and what that is you have a little grinder pump at each house, and those pump out.”
The benefits of a gravity system, he said, was that they could be as shallow as four feet underground to as deep as 30 feet underground, and that they’re easy to maintain with minimal energy consumption. The drawback to them is that they are limited by depth and drainage, and they have a larger installation footprint.
The low pressure system is only five feet underground, and they can follow the terrain without having to account for gravity, but the limitation is the pumps are mechanical and would require maintenance over time. Both would be used in the township, depending on the district.
“The total existing REUs would be just under 950, and the future was just under 12,000, which is a little more than 25% growth,” said Hemeyer. “In a lot of instances, low-pressure systems made sense.”
The cost for the project in the township would be around $42 million, and the county is looking for funding sources.
“To be realistic, this is an expensive project,” he said. “Just because the money is high doesn’t mean it can’t happen.”
The Genesee County Portion is projected to begin in 2024.

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