Event Pictorials
2008 – Hancock Undergoes Major Water & Sewer Updates
September 26, 2008
A 2003 study by the City of its existing water delivery system, was completed in 2006. The recommendations led to a 2007 project design for a major upgrade of the City’s water system.
A Michigan State Drinking Water Revolving Loan, funding a $3,720,000 project budget, led to construction that began this summer. Being removed here is the Poplar Street water tank. What a way to get to work! The removal was done by Julio Contracting, or Ripley. Targeted for replacement are 61 shut off gates, and approximately 1 mile of undersized water mains, as seen here replaced on Jasberg St. Also, a new Portage Lake Water Crossing main line was constructed, to take over delivery duties from the existing line, which will now be a backup line. And replacement of a pressure reducing valve Station at the 1,000,000 gallon tank, as well as three new pressure reducing stations else ware in the City. 102 existing hydrants will be replaced with 5" connection hydrants, such as this new one in West Hancock. MJO Contracting was the low bidder on the project, slated for completion in November.
Wednesday, September 9th, saw the last section of the new waterway crossing pipe go in. Here, the second to last section has just been pulled partially into the waterway trench. Workers lift the last pipe section into place on the entry platform, to be connected to the main pipe length. A worker from the Manitowac, WI based construction company signals the far side platform to begin pulling the last section into the waterway. The Portage Lake Water and Sewage Authority (PLWSA) was formed by the cities of Houghton and Hancock in 1964 to construct a wastewater transport and treatment system. The original wastewater treatment plant, built in 1964, was located in Hancock just west of the Lift Bridge where the Ramada Inn is currently located. That plant was limited in capacity and had to discharge partially treated wastewater during wet weather..
Because of space limitations at the original site, the new plant was relocated to the Isle Royale Sands, and the original plant was demolished. However, when the new treatment plant on the Isle Royale Sands was put into operation, Hancock’s wastewater was pumped to the Houghton pump station (just West of the Lift Bridge) and then the Houghton pump station pumped the wastewater from Hancock and central Houghton through a 12 inch force main to Franklin Square where it entered a gravity sewer for transport to the treatment facility at the Isle Royale Sands. Over the past decade, it became apparent that the current pumping and transport system was barely adequate to handle the flows from Hancock and central Houghton during wet weather. Even though both cities had initiated cost-effective projects to eliminate clear water from their sanitary systems, some infiltration from footing drains and old sewers remained. Moreover, the 12 inch force main that carried Hancock’s wastewater under the Waterway was now over 40 years old and approaching the end of its reliable life. The solution to this problem was to reroute Hancock’s wastewater through a new 16 inch force main constructed along the former railroad right-of-way to Ripley and then through a new 16 inch Waterway crossing to Franklin Square. This provided Hancock with a new reliable Waterway crossing, and, at the same time, solved the pumping bottleneck at the Houghton pump station. The original 12 inch Waterway crossing will serve as a back-up for Hancock. Additionally, an agreement between the Authority and Franklin Township will provide for a portion of Franklin Township to be served by the new Waterway crossing.
In addition to the new force main, upgraded Hancock pumps, and Waterway crossing, the current project includes an upgraded septage receiving facility and an upgraded heating system to reuse more of the methane generated by the plant’s anaerobic digestion system. The project was designed by UP Engineering and the contract was awarded to MJO for $1.62 million with financing by a 20 year loan at 2.5% interest through MDEQ. Construction began in June and should be completed by November. Here, in late September, the new under waterway sewer crossing is nearing completion, as the construction barge works on finishing the pipe laying. (Our thanks to Bob Baillod, PLWSA Board Chair, for the above info)
Photos: Roland Burgan
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