Crews installing Shelby Township’s 3.5 million storage tank at its site on 24 Mile Road near the M-53 Expressway poured a cement pad for the pump station Dec. 2-3. Installation of the pump station and pump house has been taking place this month to make the facility operational by February.

Crews installing Shelby Township’s 3.5 million storage tank at its site on 24 Mile Road near the M-53 Expressway poured a cement pad for the pump station Dec. 2-3. Installation of the pump station and pump house has been taking place this month to make the facility operational by February.

Photo provided by Shelby Township


Shelby Township water reservoir facility nears completion

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published January 26, 2022

 Portions of the inside of the pump station were wrapped while it was being transported.

Portions of the inside of the pump station were wrapped while it was being transported.

Photo provided by Shelby Township

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — After the Great Lakes Water Authority, Shelby Township’s wholesale municipal water supplier, imposed mandates on the township due to a 2020 irrigation season that went beyond Shelby Township’s contractual allowances for water usage, the township is close to the end of its water storage facility construction, which is the second of two steps the township took to better manage its water use.

The 3.5 million gallon water storage facility and the mandatory irrigation ordinance that took effect last year responded to the GLWA’s requirement that Shelby Township’s Department of Public Works take steps to avoid future excesses.

At the Shelby Township Board of Trustees meeting April 20, 2021, the board approved the purchase of a 2.68-acre property on 24 Mile Road, near the Van Dyke Expressway, to be the home of the water reservoir for $224,000. The project’s total cost, including engineering and administrative fees and a 10% contingency, was approved to not exceed $14,079,875.  

Then in May, the Township Board awarded the construction of the water storage facility and pump facility to Pamar Enterprises Inc. for an amount not to exceed $9,939,050.

The township stated in a press release that existing water infrastructure improvement funds will cover the $14 million. The township reported that it anticipates the resulting savings in wholesale water costs will bring a payback on the investment in five years.

By filling the water storage facility during off-peak hours, the township can use the water to lessen its peak-hours usage from the GLWA, which will positively affect the township’s water rates.

Construction workers installing the water storage facility poured a cement pad for the pump station Dec. 2 and 3. Crews installed the pump station and pump house this month.

Shelby Township Department of Public Works Director David Miller said in an email to the Shelby-Utica News that officials are very proud that this project is coming together on time and under budget.

“We made the final connections to the municipal water supply, which means we can partially fill the tank for disinfection and testing. After that, crews can finish the façade and the pump house with masonry and landscaping in the spring and early summer. Because of our dedicated team, the general contractor, the tank and pump house construction teams, township engineers and the DPW staff, we will have the facility operational this spring to mitigate the peak water demands associated with lawn irrigation,” he said.

In a press release, he called the construction of the facility in less than 12 months amid the COVID-19 pandemic and supply shortages “nothing short of a miracle.”

“We were proactive ordering our materials and equipment before a lot of the supply issues took effect. If not for that, this facility would not have been operational to support the 2022 irrigation season,” he stated.

The township has a water reservoir construction camera that updates at regular intervals at shelbytwp.org/dpw.

 

Ordinance makes a difference too
Before the Township Board took action on the water reservoir plan, it enacted a mandatory irrigation ordinance, which is effective between May 1 and Oct. 1, that governs the days and times when residents can water their laws. Under the ordinance, even-numbered addresses may water on even-numbered days, and odd-numbered addresses may water only on odd-numbered days. The times for watering are between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The township said the result of the ordinance is that township peak water usage changed from 6 a.m. to 4 a.m., which is a time much more acceptable to the GLWA, as opposed to 6 a.m., when much water is being used throughout the region as people get ready in the morning.

Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said that, if Shelby Township didn’t reduce its peak-hour water usage, the GLWA could have increased the township’s wholesale costs by $1.8 million annually.

“This increase would have raised our residents’ bills by roughly 13% annually through 2027, with no likely chance to be reduced. This year was our one chance to stop GLWA from exploiting the pandemic to raise our rates, and our community did not let that happen. Thank you,” Stathakis said in the press release.

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