Township board considering new sewer system management

FLINT TWP. — The township board is accepting bids for a contractor to maintain the sanitary sewer system and pump stations.

The system is currently maintained by Genesee County Water and Waste (GCWW). But the township is looking at changes under the guidance of deputy supervisor Randall Stewart.

Before approving Stewart’s request to seek bids, the board heard a report from him and Mike Pifer of Kraft Engineering & Surveying, Inc. The report contained detailed descriptions of deteriorating conditions at the township’s four sewage pumping stations including a warning that one is in imminent danger of failure which could cause costly backups at hundreds of township homes.

The township has four pumping stations: Van Campen Street, 4254 River Birch Station, Gray Avenue and Beecher Road Condo Station. Van Campen and Gray were described as “can” pumping stations and the other two as “wet well” stations. Both can stations need to be modernized, according to the report, which described rusted floors, walls and equipment, debris, ground water infiltration, overgrown brush and more.

It is no longer a question of “if” the Van Campen station will fail but when, according to the report. Photos were provided with the report to illustrate the problems described.

Stewart and Pifer presented a similar preliminary report to the board in February which drew pushback from county Waste and Water officials who disputed the findings.

The latest report cited a letter from Water and Waste alleging that the stations are in acceptable condition.

The township has about 184 miles of sanitary sewers, installed 40-50 years ago and nearing the end of their lifespan, Pifer said.

The township reportedly pays GCWW $432,000 a year – ($36,000 per month) to manage and maintain the township sewer system.

Trustee Frank Kasle asked if county Water and Waste would be invited to bid on the project. Stewart said no for the same reason that you would not continue to take a car for repairs to a mechanic who had repeatedly failed to fix it property.

Trustee Barb Vert said she did not see why the township would want to continue working with the county when according to their communication they see nothing terribly wrong with the system.

Noting that the township has a contract through 2024 with GCWW, Trustee Carol Pfaff-Dahl asked if the township would be able to break the agreement. Stewart said with proper notice, yes.

Stewart guided Davison Township through a similar process about 14 years ago and said that bidding out sewer maintenance could end up getting the township better service at a lower cost.

The board voted unanimously to seek bids for the sewer system management and repairs.

Pifer also said a rate study would be conducted to determine if the township is charging its residents the right amount.

A proposed timeline for sewer system repair and upgrade includes installation of new mission style telemetry in the four pumping stations by July 31; manhole inspections by September 30 2019 and to televise and clean one-fifth of the sewer system by July 1, 2019

Specifications and bid blanks on the sewer contract are posted on the Township Web site at or can be picked up in the office of the Township Clerk during regular business hours Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 1490 South Dye Road, The bid submission deadline is June 13.

The objective of bidding out the township’s Sanitary Sewer Maintenance Project is to “hire one company that will maintain the sewer collection system,’’ according to the request for bids. The successful contractor will “operate, repair and maintain the township’s sanitary sewer collection system, including pumping stations, lift stations, manholes, sewer mains and all other items related to maintenance.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *