Sewer absorbing topic
by STEVE GRIMM
You would be surprised how fascinating sewer issues can be. I found this out since becoming Cannon Township supervisor in January 2011. As part of the North Kent Sewer Authority, Cannon’s sewer customers’ waste is sent to the treatment facility on Coit Avenue in Plainfield Township. We share the system with Alpine, Plainfield, Courtland and the City of Rockford.
What is really fascinating is the infrastructure involved in that utility. Most people don’t think of their sewer, nor should they. If it flushes and doesn’t come back into the house, all is good.
An analysis of the mechanical infrastructure exposes a surprising complexity of the collection and treatment system involved. Pipes, connections, lift stations and the treatment facility itself all work together to take waste and convert it to water clean enough to drink. By the time the process is complete, the treated water that is put into the Grand River is cleaner than the river itself.
Along with this complexity is the fact that the entire system has a limited life span. Once a pipe is put into the ground, it starts to degrade, eventually leading, over many years, to expensive replacement.
Cannon Township is involved right now in developing an intelligent operation and maintenance plan that will first identify and categorize the maintenance needed and the costs involved. One of the techniques employed to accomplish this is to televise all the pipes that carry sewer.
You would be surprised at how much fun it is to spend a morning traveling through a sewer pipe. By doing so, Cannon will very soon develop and implement a very aggressive plan of action that will proactively repair and maintain the entire system so that catastrophic failure caused by age of the system and lack of attention will be minimized. By implementing and sticking to this plan, the long-term future of our sewer system will be ensured. Now, what can be more fascinating than that?