On Wednesday, February 24, a caravan of Grand Rapids Gravel cement trucks rolled through Rockford. The trucks tag-teamed one after another pouring cement into the dedicated Wolverine World Wide industrial sewer lines under the City.
According to City Manager Michael Young, the pipes date back to the 1950s and run parallel to a public sewer pipes. Future Wolverine property construction will tap into the public pipes.
Young said Wolverine covered the cost of filling the lines, which leaked 50,000 gallons of ground water from cracks on an average day into the waste water system going to the PARCC side treatment plant. On rainy days the groundwater input was as high as 100,000 gallons, a percentage of the 600,000 gallon total flow.
John Dykema from Grand Rapids Gravel Company said the trucks each carried eight yards of cement and the project required about 30 truck loads. On Monday, March 1, spring weight restrictions went into effect to minimize pot hole damage. One driver said that the cement hardens, even in underground pipes. The company used bagged cement to shore up the Ada dam, and the cement hardened even underwater in that instance.
Young said there won’t be much savings from treatment costs by eliminating the ground water. “Every little bit helps,” he said.
If the property were to be again used for manufacturing, it is likely new lines would have had to be run anyway, because of the condition of these. “It’s historic, that’s corking it off,” Young said of the closed tannery.