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Spring Arbor Township excels at serving its community. Quality sewer and water services are two of the main ways. Find out more about the how Spring Arbor handles it's wastewater, and how it supplies it's community with fresh water.
Municipal Wastewater Collection System
Visionary Township officials and residents initiated the first steps toward the wastewater collection system in the early 1970’s. These initial steps were funded by Federal grants and bonds issued on the local level, and included an area in the northeast corner of the Township (Arbor Hills area) and the Village.
Since the original thrust significant additions have been made to the system as housing developments have emerged and special districts have been petitioned. This growth has occurred to the east and north of the Village.
Spring Arbor Township has a contract with the City of Jackson for the treatment of wastewater. A majority of the wastewater collected in the Township is pumped to two (2) settling lagoons where air is introduced to encourage the breakdown of solids before it is pumped into the City. Use of the lagoons allows for some evaporation and “sweetens” the wastewater before it reaches the City’s disposal plant. Both of these actions reduce the ultimate processing cost for the Township. Spring Arbor Township also has agreements with Summit and Blackman Township for use of their facilities as a means of transporting the wastewater to the City for treatment.
Users of the System are connected in one of two ways. Virtually all customers connected to the initial system are connected via a gravity pipe…. wastewater flows from the building to the sewer main in the street via gravity. Many customers connected to the System in recent years have installed “grinders” at the building, and wastes are pumped under pressure into a pressurized sewer main. The use of pressurized mains reduces the size of main required, allows for shallow installation, and reduces the number of lift stations required. All of these are factors that reduce the cost of providing wastewater collection. Evidence of a pressurized main is the presence of a visible gray box with a red light on top. If the red light is illuminated the grinder pump is not operating properly and a service call should be made.
A permit and connection fee are required before persons can connect to the wastewater system. Installation of the service pipe from the building to the main is the property owner’s expense, as is the purchase and installation cost of the grinder pump if one is required. Although maintenance of the grinder pump is the Township’s responsibility, blockages or other disruptions of the service pipe for the gravity and the pressurized system is the property owner’s responsibility.
The Township does encourage, and if economically feasible requires new developments to connect to the System. The purpose of this is to reduce the potential of ground water contamination, and to provide current and future residents of the Township a low cost and reliable means of wastewater disposal.
SPECIAL NOTE: Although there are no immediate benefits to Spring Arbor Township from the proposed Southwest Sewer Authority, the Township does strongly support the concept and is actively working with the townships involved to make this a reality.
Municipal Water System
In the late 1970’s contamination of the Village’s ground water was discovered. As a result a municipal water system was installed to serve a significant portion of the Village. This was funded in part by a Federal grant and local bonds.
Given the size of the area to be served it was determined that it was not economical for Spring Arbor Township to develop and operate its own water system. Following the exploration of several options, a long-term contract was negotiated with Summit Township to provide the needed water requirements. Terms of the contract call for Spring Arbor Township to own the distribution system (water mains, water towers, and hydrants), and for Summit Township to provide an adequate flow of water and maintenance of the distribution system.
Water is provided by numerous wells throughout Summit Township that are drilled deep into the Marshall Sandstone aquifer. This is a huge body of water below the south central part of Michigan that provides water without high mineral content. The water is tested on a regular basis under the watchful eye of State regulators, and a certification is provided to Township residents on an annual basis.
Since the initial installation numerous expansions of the system have occurred. These were funded by property owners who petitioned for a water district in their neighborhood, and by developers as various tracts of land have been developed. Areas where municipal water is available can be identified by the presence of fire hydrants. In general, the Township requires developers, where economically feasible, to extend water mains to homes and businesses being constructed. The purpose of this is to insure a long term supply of contaminate free water to the development, to eliminate the drilling of individual wells which increases the potential of ground water contamination, and to provide an adequate supply of water in case of fire.
Persons wishing to tap into the municipal water system must have a permit that is issued by the Township. Property owners are responsible for a “tap” fee that is dependent on the size of the connection, and the installation of the supply line from the curb shutoff to the building. Tap fees also vary depending on the main being accessed: i.e.: initial main installed in 1970’s, developer installed, or special assessment district. Water usage is billed at a flat monthly rate (based on tap size) for residential consumption, and by the cubic foot for commercial and industrial consumption.
Residential taps are 3/4” or 1” depending on the owner / developer’s request. Commercial and industrial taps are sized to the anticipated demand for water.