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E-M:/ Rural Sewer Lines and Development Sprawl

Enviro-Mich message from "Bill Taylor" <btaylor@springcom.com>

Re:  Rural Sewer Lines and Development Sprawl

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who knows of projects to
construct new sewer lines across extensive agricultural or open land in
Southern Michigan that the community wishes to keep in that condition.

I am providing the following information to explain my question and not
because I expect to find many closely parallel situations.  My rural
lagoon-type wastewater treatment plant has some effluent discharge
deficiencies that probably have a variety of local and other potential
solutions.  However, our County public works officials have developed a
plan to close the plant and pipe the raw sewage to another treatment
plant about 10 miles away.  This plan was developed without public
participation, and the planned new sewer line would run across about 9
miles of agricultural and open land  that is zoned agricultural and does
not have significant residential clusters, and that the public wishes to
keep in this condition.  Moreover, the planned sewer line would be
accessible to hookups along its length instead of being constructed as a
"dedicated" or point-to-point line.  The development consequences seem
obvious, and our rural townships lack the resources to contest continual
legal zoning challenges from the developers that would be attracted to
large tracts of open land with sewer access.

My community association is requesting the County to conduct a careful
public review of all potential solutions to the discharge deficiencies
instead of proceeding with this plan.  We believe that the construction
of an accessible sewer line across a long stretch of rural land would be
extremely unusual at a time when the development consequences of such
lines are well-known.  I am requesting the information above to help
determine just how unusual this would be. I am also requesting it to
determine if sewer lines are being constructed in similar circumstances
but with special features to strictly limit hookups and related
development. I posted a broader message on the same situation on
February 27.  Thank you for your assistance.

Bill Taylor

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