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SAW grant program aids St. Clair County landfill

Septage Receiving Station at Smiths Creek Landfill in St. Clair CountyEGLE's SAW Grant Program (Stormwater, Asset Management and Wastewater), first initiated in 2013 and still ongoing, proved critical to the success of financially strapped communities desperately in need of funds to perform asset management planning for their aging infrastructure.

Deferred maintenance on systems that gather and treat stormwater and wastewater creates opportunities for failures of drinking water plants and stormwater management systems - putting public health and property at risk from drinking water problems and increased flooding problems.

One community receiving SAW assistance is St. Clair County, who applied on behalf of the Smiths Creek Landfill (SCL) and received a grant of $183,337 in 2017 to perform a wastewater asset management plan at the facility. CTI Associates, Inc. of Novi joined forces with Landfill Manager Matthew Williams and his team to complete the work.

"As a municipality, keeping our critical infrastructure at the landfill operational so we can serve our residents is extremely important," said Williams. "Thanks to the SAW grant we were able to build a robust management system to help us track and plan for replacement of our key assets before they fail. This ensures we maintain continuous uninterrupted service and keeps our landfill and its associated operations running smoothly."

The SCL asset management plan (AMP) focused on three systems critical to the solid waste disposal facility's operation: the septage receiving, pumping, holding and distribution systems; the leachate collection pumping, distribution, and holding systems; and the leachate pretreatment system consisting of treatment plant, force main, and aerated lagoons. Prior to development of the AMP, the SCL had no formal procedure in place for tracking and scheduling maintenance activities. Now that the AMP has been completed using the SAW grant funds, SCL has a robust online work order and asset management system to allow scheduling, tracking, and planning of future maintenance and repair of its critical assets. This will enable the County to ensure adequate funding is in place for its 5 and 20-year capital improvements plans (CIP) at the SCL.

The result will be a more seamless process of identifying and addressing the most critical repairs, maintenance and upgrades.

At the conclusion of the asset inventory, criticality assessment, and level of service portions of the AMP, SCL and the County implemented a Cartograph software programming system to manage work orders, maintenance task tracking, and capture the costs associated with these tasks.

St. Clair County is among over 600 municipalities that have received SAW grants during the past six years, providing assistance in maintaining and improving systems critical to public health and environmental protection.

For more information about the SAW grants that have been awarded can be found on EGLE's website.

Photo caption: Septage receiving station at Smiths Creek Landfill in St. Clair County.

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