By Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director
Texas Township, in the SW corner of Kalamazoo County, has experienced flooding problems due to changes in weather patterns and rainfall amounts. The township has many expensive riparian homes and near-by roads that have become unusable due to rising water levels.
After a series of emergency meetings in late 2018, The Township established a Special Assessment District to initiate a major “water pumping” system to drain the flooded areas. A EGLE/DEQ permit was applied for to pump thousands of gallons per minute from one lake to another, and then on to other drains and wetland areas with capacity to accept the water flow additional and volume.
During the Part 301 and 303 Permit Review an issue was encountered because the lake, from which pumping was to start, was contaminated/infected with Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). To prevent the spread of AIS to other water bodies in the area, the EGLE/DEQ permit required significant safeguards to be in place before the needed water pumping (really water relocation) could start.
The permittee was required to install a filtration system with a filter mesh of 40 microns or less, and to run all water from Crooked Lake through the filter before it was pumped to the downstream water bodies. The permit also added that a Riverscreen type intake screen with 0.0277 inch sieve size may be used in addition to the filtration. The screen was required to “prevent the movement and potential spread of AIS.” The permittee and all contractors were also required to follow strict operational protocols to “minimize the risk of spreading terrestrial and aquatic invasive species.” The required protocols mirror the steps EGLE/DEQ personnel are required to follow when working in the field.
Even though Permit Submission HNH-TFMB-YPBP9 was approved on March 29, 2019, the actual pumping did not start until much later because of the challenge in finding and acquiring the required filtration/screen equipment.
MLSA considers the AIS safeguards required by this permit to be significant. If you are aware of other such permits please contact us with specifics.
For more information the MIWATERS website can be searched for Permit Submission HNH-TFMB-YPB9.