Sewer overflow corrections project costs rise
By Lisa Brody
A corrective action plan to prevent sewer overflows at the Evergreen-Farmington Sanitary Drain Drainage District (EFSDDD) will cost more than previously thought, and not be completed until 2025 or 2026, county officials informed Bloomfield Townships trustees at their meeting Monday, July 11, but explained how it has become a systemwide necessity for large rain events.
Township director of engineering and environmental services Olivia Olsztyn-Budry explained that in July 2021, trustees approved creating a drainage district for the Evergreen-Farmington Sanitary Drain Chapter 20 Section 471 Agreement. “The Section 471 Agreement included the facilitation of the required Corrective Action Plan (CAP) projects,” she said.
In a memo, Olsztyn-Budry said, “At the time of the Section 471 Agreement approval, the CAP estimated total project costs was $72.7 million, with Bloomfield Township's share estimated to be $6,935,580. The CAP projects include: 1) Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) Capacity Purchase, 2) 8 Mile Road Outlet Conveyance, 3) Lathrup Village Sanitary Retention Take Improvements, and 4) Evergreen Road Conveyance Project- Walnut Lake Pump Station number 1 Corrective Acton Plan. Since last year, the Oakland County Water Resource Commissioner's (OCWRC) office has brought on a construction manager, developed preliminary design plans for the CAP projects and identified project constraints and other items not originally identified in the initial cost estimate that have to be included.”
A team from OCWRC, including Oakland Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash, presented the new corrective action plan, noting that the original cost estimate included reusing the existing pumps, but they found they cannot, and need to have new pumps custom-designed and built.
Michigan's state agency EGLE has determined that sanitary sewer overflows are now illegal, and must be remediated. Administrative consent orders issued mandate that communities with sanitary sewers must correct them so they do not overflow. The project does not include combined sewer overflows.
“All the way from Bloomfield Township, Troy, Keego, Auburn Hills, West Bloomfield, water flows to Evergreen-Farmington to Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) for treatment,” said part of Nash's team. “Several different overflow project areas are bonding together to upgrade their pumping stations, to improve their systems.”
EFSDD, along with 8 Mile Sewer Conveyance CAP, Lathrup Village CAP, and Walnut Lake Pump Station Number One, are all working together to improve their overflow systems to GLWA, with the intent to increase flow to GLWA.
Trustees learned the five pumps in the pump station at EFSDD are worn out, which changed the concept as now they have to upsized, leading to a new electrical system to accommodate the pumps as well as a new generator. The pump building will have to be modified as well.
OCWRC said the original cost was $38.8 million, plus $38.2 million to increase GLWA capacity. Costs have now increased to $83.6 million, plus the increase to GLWA capacity.
Bloomfield Township's share of the total cost would be $2,555,000.
Nash said they have applied for a $5 million grant request from Sen. Debbie Stabenow's office, and have received a positive initial response, as well as a principal forgiveness project plan was submitted by May 31.
It was explained that with a 20-year bond, with a 1.875 percent interest rate, Bloomfield Township would have a $758,500 annual payment. With a 20-year bond and a 3.5 percent interest rate, the township would have a $883,400 annual payment. With a 30-year bond and a four percent interest rate, the township would have a $726,100 annual payment.
Trustees discussed they would likely bond for it through Oakland County.