Welcome to the Public Works Department’s page. There is information about the new Neighborhood Watermain Extension Program, Mandatory Watering Restrictions, How to Pay Your Bills Online, Water Usage Facts, Maintenance Tips, Water Safety During Emergencies, and much more! The Public Works Department has over 3,200 water customers and 5,200 sewer customers, approximately 63 miles of watermains, 100 miles of sanitary sewer mains, 900 fire hydrants, 16 sanitary sewer lift stations, and a $7.6 million budget.

 

NOTICE 12-17-2013
Effective IMMEDIATELY the NEW after hours phone number for water and sewer emergencies is (248) 858-4911.


Staff

 

Public Works Director Bill Ireland, ext. 118
Assistant Public Works Director
William Basigkow, ext. 146
Office Coordinator
Marsha Carroll, ext. 117
Billing Clerk I Liz Jedlicki, ext. 116
Phone Number
(248) 391-0304
Fax Number (248) 383-6842
DPW Crew Leader Mitch McMurray
DPW Laborers Jason English
Michael Kruzel
Gregory Gearheart
Michael Berger
Vincent Sinacola
Vito Sinacola

 

Electronic Payments for Water & Sewer Bills

As part of our commitment to provide citizens with efficient, convenient service, Orion Township has partnered with Official Payments to offer options for paying your water and sewer bills online.

 

Official Payments, the service provider, charges a 3% convenience fee for processing credit/debit card payments, and a flat $3.00 convenience fee for processing E-check payments. YOU MUST USE JURISDICTION CODE 7019.

!!! ATTENTION !!! Make sure that the field for “Payment Entity” states “Orion, Township of” BEFORE you finish processing your payment. If you put the wrong entity in there, your payment will be delayed and could result in late fees.

 

Annual Reports

 

Be Safe

Township water and sewer employees never ask to come into your home unless you have a scheduled appointment. Our employees wear uniforms, have employee badges, and drive marked Township vehicles. Water meters are read from outside your home, or we request that you read your meter and mail back a card that we leave at your home. They do not request to enter your home without an appointment. Also, our employees will not enter a home that is occupied without an adult present. Please do not schedule an appointment with an underage person.

 

Moving?

As with other utility companies, you must contact us when moving out of your home. In order to do a final meter reading, you must set up an appointment at least 24 hours in advance. We must get inside your home to read and inspect your meter. Please have the following information available upon contacting us:

  • Name
  • Property Address
  • Date of Closing
  • New Owner’s Name
  • Name & Address of Title Company, or whoever is holding the escrow

If you have moved into a new residence in Orion Township, please contact our office to confirm that we have received all the necessary information.

 

New Property Owner Information

Congratulations on the purchase of your new property in Orion Township! For homes connected to Orion Township water and/or sanitary sewer, please contact our office at (248) 391-0304, ext. 142, to make sure the billing has been switched into your name. In Orion Township, water and sewer bills stay with the property, which means if a final bill was not scheduled, then as the new owner of the property you are responsible for any outstanding water/sewer bills and debt balances if they apply. If a final bill was scheduled, then it should have been paid by the responsible party. In some cases, final bills do not get paid, and the outstanding balances get transferred to the new owner’s account, per Ordinance 68. To check your property’s account or for more information, call (248) 391-0304, ext. 142.

 

Sewer Overflow Claims Notice

On January 2, 2002, Public Act 222 of 2001 came into effect. This new State law provides procedures to be followed in making a claim in the event of a sewage overflow or backup on your property. The following information is required to be provided, in writing, within 45 days of the date the sewer overflow or backup was discovered or should have been discovered:

 

1. Your name, address, and telephone number.

2. The address of the affected property.

3. The date of discovery of any property damages or physical injuries.

4. A brief description of your claim.

 

Failure to provide this information within 45 days of the date that the damage or physical injury was discovered, or should have been discovered, will prevent you from being able to make a claim against the Charter Township of Orion for economic damages. The information should be sent to Bill Ireland, Public Works Director, Orion Township, 2525 Joslyn Rd., Lake Orion, MI 48360.

 

NOTE: In the event of a sewer emergency, please call (248) 391-0304, ext. 117 (8:30 am – 4:30 pm) or (248) 858-4911 (evenings, weekends and holidays).

 

In the event of a sewage overflow or backup, you must contact Orion Township at the above listed number(s). They will check the sewer main to determine if the backup is in the main or in the service line. Any backup caused by the sewer main is the responsibility of Orion Township and a claim should be submitted by using the procedures outlined above. A backup caused by a service line is the responsibility of the homeowner and should not be submitted for a claim.

 

Cross Connection Elimination

Orion Township is working to make sure that you have the safest drinking water by eliminating potential cross connection to the public water system. What is a cross connection? It is an arrangement of piping which could allow undesirable water, sewage or chemical solutions (pollutants) to enter your drinking (potable) water system as a result of backflow. A pollutant may enter the potable water system when the pressure of the pollution source exceeds the pressure of the potable water source or when a sudden loss of pressure occurs in the water system and backsiphonage occurs. Cross connection with potable piping systems have resulted in numerous cases of illness and even death. Historically, they are one of the most serious public health threats to a potable water supply system.

 

Examples of potential sources of pollution from a residential customer are garden hoses, sprinkler systems, swimming pools, hot tubs and boiler systems. Based on their frequency of use, garden hoses create the greatest concern for cross connections in the residential setting. Several cases of pollution/contamination have been caused by misuse of the garden hose – hoses left submerged in swimming pools, attached to chemical sprayers, and laying on the ground with exposure to cesspools, garden chemicals, and animal feces. Water softeners, solar heating systems, private wells, toilets, and water-operated sump drain devices are also sources of cross connection in a residential home, and any residence that has one or more of these situations is seriously jeopardizing its own potable water system and that of the community if it is served by a public water supply system.

 

Cross connection assemblies and devices are added to the potable water line and are used to prevent cross connection from occurring. Beginning January 2, 2011, the minimum frequency that backflow assemblies must be tested is every three (3) years. Orion Township notifies those commercial facilities and residential accounts when testing of devices is required and the date the test reports are due.

 

Testing of cross connection prevention devices must be completed by a Michigan State Certified tester (click here for a list of Michigan State Certified Testers).

 

If you are required to submit a cross connection test report, Cross Connection Test Form to print a copy of the Orion Township Cross Connection Control Test Report. Test reports can be faxed or mailed to our Department. For more information on cross connection, please call (248) 391-0304, ext. 116.

 

Water Usage Facts

On average, each American uses 60 gallons of water every day. You can reduce your water use by as much as 30% if you are efficient. TIP: If you don’t have a low-flow toilet, use plastic bottles filled with water and pebbles to displace water in tank. Don’t obstruct the float. Don’t use bricks. Source: Detroit Water & Sewerage Department

 

How to Read Your Water Meter

Nothing is better in the summer than a beautiful yard. However, it is important to keep in mind that the more water you use, the higher your water bill will be. One way that you can keep an eye on your water usage is to read your meter regularly. Most of the homes that are connected to the City of Detroit’s water will find their meters in the basement. As you will see in the diagram, the meter head looks similar to a car odometer. The standard meters can be read by using the first four numbers from the left. These four numbers can be subtracted from your current bill to get the number of units. In our example, the usage would be 51.

 

Water Conservation Tips

Water conservation measures are an important first step in protecting our water supply. Such measures not only save the supply of our source water, but can also save you money by reducing your water and sewer bills. Here are a few suggestions.

 

Conservation Measures You Can Use Inside Your Home Include:

  • Fix leaking faucets, pipes, toilets, etc.
  • Replace old fixtures, install water-saving devices in faucets, toilets and appliances.
  • Wash only full loads of laundry.
  • Do not use the toilet for trash disposal.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing your teeth.
  • Soak dishes before washing.
  • Run the dishwasher only when full.

You Can Conserve Outdoors as Well:

  • Water the lawn and garden in the early morning or evening.
  • Use mulch around plants and shrubs.
  • Repair leaks in faucets and hoses.
  • Use water-saving nozzles.
  • Use water from a bucket to wash your car, and save the hose for rinsing.

Sewer Maintenance During the Summer

During the spring and summer months, our Department will be throughout the Township providing routine sewer maintenance. Sewer manholes will have to be opened, so any sod or landscaping that may be over them will have to be removed. If you see our vehicles in your neighborhood, we will be jetting (sending high pressure water) through the sewer lines to clear any debris in them. The only preparation that a homeowner needs to do is put toilet lids in your home down and make sure your sewer vent pipe is clear from blockage.

 

When a sewer vent pipe in your home is clean from blockages, then sewer jetting does not have any effect on your home. The pressure from the sewer jetting will go out through the vent pipe and not cause any problems in your home.

 

If the sewer vent pipe is blocked, then you could experience water and/or sewage coming up from  your toilets and drains in your home. A blockage could be caused by any number of things, including leaves, animals or snow.

 

There are a couple ways you may check your vent pipes:

  1. Open the faucets at the tub and sink nearest the roof vent pipe. Go on the roof with a flashlight and visually inspect the roof vent. If the vent is clear, you should be able to hear the water running.
  2. When it is cold outside, you can run hot water inside your home and simply check to see if you see steam coming out of the roof vent.

If you find the roof vent is blocked, run a hose down the vent pipe to flush out the debris. The water will run down through the pipe and out the sewer line. If the vent pipe begins to fill with water, you have a major blockage and should contact a licensed plumber.

 

After the sewer jetting is done, if you experience a smell coming from inside your sinks or toilets, run water down them. This will fill your traps with water again, and should fix the problem.

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding while our routine maintenance takes place.

 

Winter Weather Service Tips

During the fall months, there are several things that homeowners can do to protect their homes from winter water damage. Before the cold weather hits, be sure:

  • Outside water faucets are opened, and inside the home the line is closed.
  • Locate and mark the main water value for your home and make sure the adults in your house know where it is located. Water damage can be minimized if all adults know where to turn off the water in case of an emergency.
  • Consider insulating any pipes that are near outside walls, under the home (in crawl spaces) or in the attic.

If you have had problems with lines freezing in the past, inspect the lines before the winter hits. In addition to insulating the pipes, seal any gaps in the walls with caulk or other means. Check with your local hardware store for other effective ways of insulating and sealing gaps. In the event that your pipes do freeze, remember that you should never thaw pipes with an open flame. It is best to use a small portable heater, or a hair dryer. Please make sure you are careful about electric shock around standing water!

 

If you plan on going out of town for any extended period of time,  you may consider keeping your heat over 60 degrees F. You may also drain the water from your lines inside your home and you can contact our office so we may turn the water off at the street.

 

During a winter storm there is always the probability that you will lose power to your home. If the power will be off for a long period of time, turn the water off at the main shut off valve in your home. Open faucets in all levels of your home to allow for expansion should any water left in the lines freeze.

 

If you notice anything unusual like unfrozen puddles or large pools of water, please contact us so we can shut off the water at the road. If you have a water pipe that has broken in your home or on your property, you will have to contact an independent contractor to fix any damage that occurs within your property.

 

FOG Affects Everyone!

Fat, Oil and Grease in the sanitary sewer lines is commonly referred to as FOG. The FOG enters the sanitary sewer lines through the drains in a residential home or business. Once it enters the sewer system it sticks to the pipes and lines, and can eventually block the sewer line completely, causing sewage backups and overflows.

 

Sewage backups as a result of FOG can have an impact on residents, everyone connected to the sewer system, and the environment. If a backup occurs within a resident’s sewer line on their property, then they are responsible for the cleanup. For example, if a homeowner consistently pours grease or oil from cooking down their sink drain, it will eventually cool and harden. When the sewage backs up in their home, they will need to hire a licensed plumber to clean their lines and make any necessary repairs. Cleaning FOG build-up from the main sewer line can increase maintenance costs for Orion Township. The environment cal be impacted by sewage backups overflowing into streets, lakes and rivers.

 

Sources of FOG include:

  • Cooking oil
  • Butter, margarine or shortening
  • Meat fats
  • Lard
  • Food scraps
  • Dairy products

To keep your drains clear, follow these easy tips:

  • Pour or scrape oily or greasy foods into a container and allow it to cool before disposing of it in your garbage. Mix any liquid oils with an absorbent material such as kitty litter or coffee grounds before throwing it in the trash.
  • DO NOT pour fat, oil or grease down your sink. Hot water does NOT dilute the FOG when rinsing cookware, utensils or dishes.
  • Keep your drain clean by pouring one (1) cup baking soda down the drain following by one (1) cup vinegar. Wait 10-15 minutes, then rinse with hot water.

Water Safety During an Emergency

Having good information about water safety could help your family get through a winter storm or other emergency situation. It is recommended that at least one gallon of water, per person per day, be stored for emergency purposes. It is further recommended that a two week supply of water be stored in clean plastic, glass, fiberglass or enamel-lined metal containers. Never use a container that has had a toxic substance in it. Make sure all containers are sealed tightly and store them in a cool, dry space. You should also rotate your backup water supply every six months.

 

If a water main break occurs, you may be without water for a period of time and a ‘BOIL WATER ALERT” may be issued. A “BOIL WATER ALERT” is issued when the purity of the water in the lines is questioned. The water should be brought to a rolling boil for five minutes. Let the water cool, then pour it back and forth between two clean containers to add air for improved taste. The water will then be safe for cooking and drinking purposes.

 

In the event your water service is completely lost for an extended period of time, there are sources of water within your home that are safe for consumption. Water in the pipes of your home can be drained and used. You can also access the water in your hot water tank in an emergency situation. Begin by making sure the electricity and gas are shut off. Open the drain at the bottom of the hot water tank and turn off the cold water intake at the top of the tank. If there is a hot water faucet, turn it on, and the water should begin draining. When your water service is restored, fill the tank back up. DO NOT TURN THE ELECTRICITY OR GAS BACK ON WHEN THE TANK IS EMPTY. Wait until the tank is full – otherwise you could damage your hot water tank.

 

Don’t Flush Unused Medications

The majority of residents in Orion Township probably have old prescriptions in their homes and the most common way of disposing of them was to flush them down a drain or toilet. In recent years information has surfaced showing that the wastewater treatment plants can’t always remove the high concentrations of metals, chemicals and/or organic substances found in medications. Ultimately, trace amounts of these medications can end up in our water supply and although research has shown that the amounts detected are way too low to have any impact on human health, there are several alternatives to flushing them down the toilet.

  • Ask your pharmacy if they have a drug take back program.
  • The Oakland County Sheriff’s Department has a program called “Operation Medicine Cabinet”. The Orion substation is a drop-off location for this program. They collect unused, unneeded or expired medications. More information is available online at www.oaklandsheriff.com or www.operationmedicinecabinet.com.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers guidelines on how to properly dispose of medication in other ways on their website at www.fda.gov/drugs.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Public Works Department is to provide safe, potable drinking water and to provide adequate sanitary sewage disposal to our customers.