Action was needed when Berlin Charter Township (Berlin) received two violation notice letters from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) requiring that excess infiltration and inflow (I/I) be removed from their sewers. Excess I/I was causing sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) and sewer backups in Berlin’s sewer system. It was also causing discharge violations from Berlin’s Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), including their permits for ammonia and suspended solids.
F&V integrated a new approach called Mass Flow Monitoring, which is a process of massive measurements and focused analysis to evaluate and pinpoint locations for I/I field investigation and removal. We also took the lead role in securing S2 grant funding to help make this approach possible.
The Mass Flow Monitoring measurement and analysis process pinpointed cost-effective I/I reduction improvements, leading to $2.25 million in cost savings by knowing where the big I/I problems were and fixing only the high-priority segments. Together with sewer rehabilitation design by Hennessey Engineers we reduced I/I by 85% and flows to the WWTP by 50%. The Township eliminated SSOs and eliminated huge peak flows. Berlin is now back in good standing with the MDEQ.
The project won a 2016 ACEC Honorable Conceptor Award for Engineering.