Thursday, May 08, 2008

Township planning to build its own water system

Read between lines in this revealing article from the Whirlpool company paper.
This is the beginning of the article - good luck finding the rest on their site.

BENTON TWP. 5/7/08
Board’s resolution says reliability of Benton Harbor system is in doubt
By SCOTT AIKEN and JULIE SWIDWA Herald Palladium
BENTON TOWNSHIP — Concerns about the reliability and capacity of Benton Har­bor’s water system have prompted Benton Township officials to begin planning the construction of a new wa­ter plant and distribution sys­tem.
The township board took an initial step in the process Friday by approving a reso­lution asking Berrien County for an easement through Rocky Gap Park to build an intake pipe to draw water from Lake Michigan.
The county board is ex­pected to consider the request in the next week or two.
Benton Harbor supplies water to about 20,700 cus­tomers, according to a state report. They include 11,218 in the city, 6,700 in Benton Township, 2,700 in the Fair­plain section of St. Joseph Township, and 78 in Hagar Township.
In taking action to break from Benton Harbor and build a separate water sys­tem, the Benton Township Board said in its resolution that a recent state survey “raised serious concerns” about the city’s ability to reli­ably provide water. Greg Ali­menti, director of utility ser­vices, said the city has developed a plan to fix the problems and address needs far into the future.
The survey conducted by the Department of Environ­mental Quality listed numer­ous system deficiencies found by inspectors and said the water plant no longer has the capacity to meet peak summer use. The survey of the water system listed 30 ar­eas of deficiency, including nine violations of the Michi­gan Safe Drinking Water Act. It recommended 20 improve­ments.
The City Commission is seeking $14.5 million in loans to fix or replace equip­ment, including filters and water clarifiers, to install an emergency generator and correct other problems. Al­though the city’s water treat­ment plant is rated at 12 mil­lion gallons per day because four filters are out of service, the capacity is limited to 8 million gpd, the DEQ found.