Sanitary Sewer System

Village of Northport
Northport, MI

Project Overview

The Village of Northport was in need of wastewater treatment improvements for its sanitary sewer system. With several of the residential and commercial onsite septic systems failing or non-conforming to health department standards, Village officials needed to find an economical solution for the community of less than 600 residents.

First, F&V prepared a Sewer Needs & Feasibility Study for the community. The study also included evaluation of numerous wastewater collection, treatment and discharge scenarios with budgetary costs. F&V went on to prepare an EGLE State Revolving Fund (SRF) Project Plan to obtain successful grant and loan funding for the project.

The study concluded water to be such a scarce resource for the hilly community with very little permeable soils that solutions needed to be more inventive than your typical wastewater plant. The plant incorporated the first Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) Wastewater Treatment in Michigan. Developed in Norway, MBBRs are good for hilly areas because they’re able to collect what natural groundwater comes downhill and reloop the water through the treatment process. Relooping the water allowed it to be treated, filtered and dropped back into a permeable spot, and then recollected for use.

F&V also incorporated one of the first primary lagoons for de-nitrification in the world. Two existing lagoons, donated from a local hospital, provided the permeable spot for the relooping process, proving a cost-free source of carbon needed for treatment. The de-nitrification acts as a safeguard to protect human health and the environment for residents adding wells.

These innovations helped Northport conserve its scarce water source, fix its water treatment solutions, and do so cost-effectively. The project won an Eminent Conceptor (first place) in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ annual competition for outstanding engineering projects for 2011, as well as the 2011 ACEC – National Recognition Award for its outstanding solutions.

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