Elkhart should stick to the contract

In the year 2000, Ontwa Township in Cass County, Michigan, started a waste collection system arranging for Elkhart to make Ontwa Township wastewater in Michigan at Garver Lake. Ontwa then bought capacity in the Elkhart wastewater plant where Elkhart was to transport the Ontwa waste for processing.

Because Ontwa then paid $913,680 for use of the Elkhart sewer plant, there was no minimum amount of sewage to be provided to Elkhart. A maximum amount of sewage to be delivered to Elkhart at Garver Lake in Michigan was 360,000 gallons per day.

Elkhart took the Ontwa sewage at the Garver Lake lift station and pressurized it into a 12-inch pipe, which like all of the Ontwa collection system, was made of plastic and was 4.5 miles long.

The Ontwa — now Elkhart — sewage then moved at less than one half a mile per hour under pressure through the small pipe until it poured into the more than 50-year-old Elkhart system made of concrete and steel.

Being small, pressurized and without full ventilation, caused stronger than when it was turned over to Elkhart at the Garver Lake lift station.

Although a system was provided at Garver Lake to add chemicals to the formerly Ontwa, now Elkhart sewage to reduce its strength, Elkhart chose not to use that system. The contract between Elkhart and Ontwa defined and described the 4.5 mile plastic pipe as part of the Elkhart Publicly Owned Treatment Works, even the Michigan part near Garver Lake. The only place permitted to measure strength and compliance per the contract was at the Garver Lake lift station.

In May of 2011 Ontwa Township bought an additional 100,000 gallons of daily capacity at the Elkhart treatment facility and added a portion of Granger limited to 75,000 gallons per day. There were no secret meetings to decide this and the portion of Granger to be added was, and sill is, strictly limited to 75,000 gallons per day.

In December of 2011 the Elkhart Sewer system rotted and collapsed close to where the new 4.5-mile pipe poured into Elkhart’s old steel and concrete system and Elkhart changed its mind as to its responsibility for what it had done. Now Elkhart is attempting to charge Ontwa Township for Elkhart’s use of a 12-inch pipe which is 4.5 miles long to generate caustic waste under pressure and is measuring in Indiana to fine Ontwa for Elkhart’s responsibility.

Ontwa Township should stop paying fines to Elkhart and stop paying for chemicals used in attempts to neutralize the caustic mix Elkhart is making south of Garver Lake. Ontwa Township should also insist that all measurements be at Garver Lake as required by contract.

David P. Taylor

Edwardsburg

SportsPlus

Community News

Dowagiac DART launches on-demand transit service

Cassopolis

Cassopolis honors 2024 Miss Cassopolis Court

Community News

Niles, township approve revised SMCAS articles

Community News

Creating culture: 100+ community members participate in downtown art project

Cass County

Cass County law clerk gets jail for contempt of court

Business

Radioshack to move downtown, create ‘maker space’

Community News

‘It’s home’: Blomgren ready to take next step as Dowagiac superintendent

Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Dowagiac Connected thanks community

Buchanan

Buchanan approves liquor license for boutique hotel

Cass County

Dowagiac DART to launch on-demand transit service

Community News

Niles approves matching funds for outdoor hub construction

Dowagiac

Two injured in two-vehicle Silver Creek Township crash

News

Sewer overflow reported in Dowagiac

Buchanan

Buchanan moves forward with downtown streetscape, infrastructure projects

Cass County

Cassopolis authorities seek help locating gas station robbery suspects

Cass County

Two injured in Silver Creek Township crash

Brandywine Education

Brandywine adopts new cell phone policy, hires assistant elementary principal

Cass County

Man gets prison time for attacking police officer during traffic stop

News

Sanitary sewer overflow reported in Buchanan

Cass County

3 arrested in Cass County for concealing stolen property

Brandywine Education

School board split on vote to appoint new member

Cass County

District Court Administrator, Probate Register graduate ICM program

Crime/Court

Galien man gets prison time for trying to burn down father’s trailer

Community News

Annual Bigfoot Parade stomps through Sister Lakes