Aging water and sewage equipment to be replaced

By: Robert Guttersohn | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published February 20, 2013

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Water and Sewage Department has hired an engineering consultant to look into the costs of replacing the township’s archaic supervisory control and data acquisition system, the system responsible for monitoring water pressure and other key levels throughout Macomb.

Gerry Wangelin, the superintendent of the Water and Sewage Department, said the current system is more than 25 years old and has become unreliable. Because the equipment is outdated, replacement parts are becoming hard to find, Wangelin said.

“This equipment keeps watch while we are asleep at night, while we’re home on the weekends, while we’re enjoying holidays,” he said. “It’s very important equipment.”

There are 16 points throughout the township that the system monitors, ranging from water pressure to sewage.

“Nobody wants sewage in the basement,” Wangelin said. “If something goes awry, this equipment will call us at home … before that scenario of sewage in somebody’s basement.”

The Board of Trustees approved at its Feb. 13 meeting the hiring of the firm Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr and Huber to look into the parts that need to be replaced. The township is hiring the firm at a total cost of $27,660, which is to be spread over three phases.

The first portion will be a study on parts that need to be replaced.

“We need to find out what we do and don’t need,” Wangelin said.

The second portion will be the design of the parts, and the third is construction. The project is scheduled to begin in March and wrap up in December, according to records the firm sent to the township.

Township Clerk Michael Koehs said that, because this is just the oversight of the process, and not the actual construction, it did not require a bid.

“Once we get to the bidding portion, I’ll be back in front of the board with a recommendation on who will do the work for us,” Wangelin said.