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Township implements home water check effort

By Lisa Brody

Following mandates in the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act, Bloomfield Township trustees unanimously approved awarding a contract to HydroCorp to begin instituting a residential cross connection control program, at their meeting on Monday, March 22.

Katie Fotherby, public works manager, explained a cross connection is where a connection of piping meets that could allow undesirable water, sewage or chemical solution, to enter the water solution because of backflow.

She said the township has had a contract with HydroCorp since 2003 to manage the township's cross connection program, which until now has focused solely on commercial, industrial and public facilities as these carry a higher hazard level.

“However, beginning in 2015, during our regular water and sanitary system survey, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) began notifying the township that residential inspections needed to be incorporated into the cross connection control program,” Fotherby said. “The township's response, at that time, was to contend that the residential requirements were being met through public education. After EGLE performed their next system survey in 2018, their direction to the township was that the residential portion of the program needed to extend beyond public education to also include residential inspections and testing. The township provided an estimated timeline and steps for phasing this in that initially included a program start date of April 1, 2020. However, due to several cost and operational reasons, we later requested to delay that timeline by one fiscal year and to move the start date to April 1, 2021.”

She explained it is an exterior inspection only, homeowners do not need to be home, no appointment is necessary, and it takes approximately five minutes for an inspection. She expects about 80 percent of residents to pass.

“If it doesn't pass, the homeowner needs to contract with a private plumber to correct the problem,” she said.

It will be funded through the township's water and sewer fund.


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