Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DWSD Seeks Proposals to Manage its Green Infrastructure Program

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is seeking proposals from professional service contractors to develop and implement Phase I of DWSD's "Green Infrastructure Program."  This will be a 5 year contract and is being procured as Contract CS-1522.  

RFP documents are available from the Department beginning January 28, 2013 for $50 (certified funds). Contact Yolanda Pippen at (313) 964-9548 or Miriam Dixon at (313) 964-9465 for more information. 

There will be a mandatory pre-bid meeting for prospective bidders on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Water Board Building, 735 Randolph St., 15th Floor, Detroit, MI 48226.   

Proposals are due on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 not later than 12:00 p.m. (EST).  Click here for a copy of the Bid Announcement.

Update (1/31): The Model D website has a very interesting article (here) about Detroit's "Blue Infrastructure," which discusses DWSD's plans and how it will tie into the Detroit Future City strategic framework. 

For more about DWSD Update, click here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

DWSD Receives Proposals from 3 Teams for Biosolids Contract, PC-792

On January 23, 2013, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department received proposals from three teams in response to the RFP for the project known as "Biosolids Dryer Facility" (Contract PC-792). 

Proposals were received from the following teams:
According to the January 23, 2013 Director's Report (here), the proposals will be "evaluated promptly by the joint DWSD and county representative evaluation team."

Contract PC-792 was advertised for bids last October

For more about DWSD Update, click here.  


Monday, January 21, 2013

City of Detroit Wastewater, CSO Discharge Permit Considered for Renewal

On January 18, 2013, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) published DWSD’s request to renew and reissue its wastewater and CSO discharge permit, NPDES Permit No. MI0022802. Comments or objections are due by February 19, 2013.

In accordance with Rule 323.1103 of the Michigan Water Quality Standards, the MDEQ proposes to grant a variance from the water quality standard that is the basis for the water quality-based effluent limit for Mercury in the draft permit.

The Discharge-Specific Level Currently Achievable for Total Mercury was developed in accordance with the Department's approved Multiple Discharger Variance (MDV). A copy of the MDV may be obtained via the Internet at ( - click on ‘Applicable Rules and Regulations’) or at the District Office.

Copies of the permit application, Public Notice, Fact Sheet, and draft permit may be obtained via the Internet ( - click on ‘Permits on Public Notice’) or at the Water Resources Division Southeast Michigan District Office located at 27700 Donald Court, Warren, Michigan 48092-2793, telephone: 586-753-3750. 

(Note: If you write me (here), I would be glad to e-mail you a copy of DWSD's permit application and all related documents in a single zip file.  Even compressed, its almost 11MB. Just put “NPDES Permit” in the subject line when you write.)

Comments or objections to the draft permit received by February 19, 2013, will be considered in the final decision to issue the permit. Persons desiring information regarding the draft permit, procedures for commenting, or requesting a hearing should contact Matthew Staron, Permits Section, Water Resources Division, Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 30458, Lansing, Michigan 48909, telephone: 517-335-4491, e-mail:

A Public Meeting on the draft Permit has been scheduled on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Western High School located at 1500 Scotten Street, Detroit, Michigan. Persons needing assistance with hearing, mobility, or visual accommodations should contact Susan Ashcraft at 517-241-1346 or e-mail at to request these accommodations.

For more about DWSD Update, click here.  

Genesee County Advertises for Bids for 78" Intake Pipeline for Karegnondi Water Project

The Genesee County Drain Commissioner has released bid documents for the construction of a 78" diameter water intake pipeline that will extend nearly two miles into Lake Huron. This work signals the start of the raw water pipeline project for the Karegnondi Water Authority

Bids for the project entitled:
"Lake Huron Water Supply Initiative - Water Supply Intake - Contract S-4000 - Worth Township" 
will be received on February 26, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. 

Work includes tunneling and marine excavation, including two time crib intakes, a 30' diameter x 70' deep concrete junction chamber, and related appurtenances and site work.

A mandatory pre-bid Meeting will be conducted on January 24, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at the Worth Township Hall, 6903 S. Lakeshore, Lexington, MI 48450.

Engineers for the project include: Lockwood, Andrews & Newman, Inc. (Houston, and Flint) and Rowe, Inc. (Flint). 

The project is located in Sanilac County located at 7705 Fisher, Worth Township, MI 48450, which is only about 6 miles North of Detroit's (DWSD) Lake Huron Water Treatment Plant in Fort Gratiot.

For more about DWSD Update, click here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Karegnondi Water Authority Inches Closer to the Start of New Pipeline Project (UPDATED)

The nascent Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) cleared another hurdle last week when the Army Corps of Engineers issued the final permit required for construction of the 1.5 mile intake from Lake Huron. Genesee County Drain Commissioner said a construction contract could be signed for the work at the end of February, 2013. The first phase of construction is expected to cost $35 million.  

At last check, DWSD was still negotiating with the City of Flint to sign a new long-term water supply contract. Flint is considered an integral part of any new pipeline built by the KWA.  

DWSD Update has followed the development of the Karegnondi Water Authority since 2009. For prior stories about the KWA, click here.

Update (1/17): The Davison Index reports here that construction on the KWA pipeline could begin by Spring, 2013.   

For more about DWSD Update, click here.  

100,000 Pageviews: Thank You!

Sometime over the past weekend, DWSD Update's pageview meter crossed 100,000. For a niche publication that began as an idea in early 2008, and garnered a mere 768 pageviews in its first month of publication (July, 2008), this is quite a milestone.  

Thank you for reading and following DWSD Update.

For more about DWSD Updateclick here

Thursday, January 10, 2013

WAVE Fund to Celebrate 10 Years, Birthday of its Founder, Executive Director Carla Walker-Miller

On Saturday, January 26, 2013, the Water Access Volunteer Effort (WAVE) Fund will celebrate its 10th Anniversary and honor its Founder and Executive Director, Ms. Carla Walker-Miller. A fundraiser will be held from 7:00 - 11:00 p.m. at the Detroit Wayne County Port Authority, 130 East Atwater Street, Detroit, MI 48226. Tickets for this event are $75 and may be purchased online here.  Please RSVP by January 15th. 

The WAVE Fund provides assistance to low-income families during crisis by ensuring uninterrupted access to safe drinking water and sanitation services. The WAVE Fund is a Michigan non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation and all contributions are tax deductible. Tax ID No. 01-0762343. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

DWSD's Aging Sewers, Wastewater Treatment Plant Featured on PBS News Hour

On January 3, 2013, DWSD's aging sewers and wastewater treatment plant were featured on PBS News Hour.  PBS interviewed Director Sue McCormick and Assistant Director Sam Smalley.

For more about DWSD Updateclick here.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Former Oakland County WRC Appointed to Lead Huron-Clinton Metroparks

Former Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner, John P. McCulloch has been appointed Director of the Huron-Clinton MetroparksMcCulloch, who lost his bid for a another term as Oakland County WRC in November to James Nash, was appointed lead the Huron-Clinton Metroparks on December 13, 2012.  Nash took office on January 2, 2013.

In a December 18, 2012 Special Newsletter, Mr. McCulloch, a frequent critic of DWSD, reflected on his tenure as Water Resources Commissioner for Oakland County, including his role in shaping the future direction of the Department: 
During my 12-year tenure, the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office has been at the vanguard in reducing costs, placing a premium on customer service and initiating innovative programs that have provided taxpayers with the “most bang for their buck.” Before departing, I’d like to mention a few of the major achievements of which I am most proud. 
The 35-year-old lawsuit filed by my predecessor, George W. Kuhn, to force the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) to comply with the Federal Clean Water Act became my fight. 
I led the effort to revamp the Detroit Water Board and how it operates by insisting on a greater voice at the table for Oakland, Wayne and Macomb Counties in the decision-making process. My office also successfully fought the City of Detroit’s lawsuit to end Federal Court oversight of the DWSD
I am encouraged about the future of the DWSD because of a comprehensive report which calls for a wholesale reorganization of the department. It gives me hope that years of bloated bureaucracy and mismanagement at the DWSD are finally nearing an end. But despite the encouraging signs of progress, there is still much work left to do. One thing I strongly recommend is that a second opinion be sought before any drastic cuts or changes are made to the DWSD operation. In addition, it would be a good idea to search out other entities nationwide which have been successful in transforming their water/wastewater systems into well-managed, cost-effective and efficient operations. 
As the DWSD moves forward, my hope is that it will make a good faith effort to reassess how it does business and provides services. The reality is that the water and sewer industry is rapidly changing. That means we need to improve the operating process to reduce costs by instituting new water technologies, as Oakland County has sought to achieve with its innovative H2Opportunities program. The fact is our underground infrastructure is aging and decaying, making innovative methods to streamline current practices absolutely essential.

Click here for the full text of Mr. McCulloch's final message, which also addresses his accomplishments with the Oakland County WRC, his principal charge.

For more about DWSD Updateclick here