Repairs to Traverse City wastewater plant could top $15M

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TRAVERSE CITY — Repairs to a regional wastewater treatment plant in northern Michigan could carry a $15.5 million price tag.

A study looked at options the city has wasfor fixing the Traverse City facility’s primary treatment components, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported Monday.

The components are a series of pipes that bring in raw wastewater, the screening processes to remove grit and other suspended solids before further treatment and the plumbing that connects them.

Pipes at several points in the inflow and pre-treatment stages need replacing, including a connection point in the pipe gallery that previously developed a severe leak, according to the newspaper.

That leak nearly resulted in a “catastrophic failure of the entire pipe system,” which was averted by maintenance personnel, the study said.

City commissioners were expected to hear more Monday about what needs fixing and why.

“It’s worse than I thought it was, relative to what city staff has shared recently about the conditions of things over there,” Commissioner Ashlea Walter said.

Funding from a federal coronavirus pandemic relief package and an anticipated surplus in the city’s general fund could cover some of the cost but would not come close to paying the full amount.

Acme, East Bay, Elmwood, Garfield and Peninsula townships also use the plant and collectively own 45% of the treatment capacity, according to the newspaper.

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