$13 million Fraser sewer project finally done

Jul 8, 2011

Fraser's Hayes Interceptor took two years

A longtime environmental headache in Fraser formally comes to a close Saturday when city officials will use shovels to cover up the last hole of a sewer project that took two years and millions of dollars to complete.

The massive Hayes Road Interceptor Sewer project caused road closures and traffic tie-ups in various parts of the community for the lengthy sewer construction project aimed at ending the dumping of raw sewage into Lake St. Clair during heavy rainfall.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, members of the City Council will gather at Emerson Elementary School to mark the work's completion. They will each grab a shovel to throw dirt on the portion of the construction that is still open.

"We're going to close up the hole, throw the last clump of dirt on it, stomp it down with our feet and thank Jesus that it's over," said Mayor Moe Geromette. "This project has been a thorn in the side of Fraser for quite some time."

Fraser was one of two Macomb County communities, along with Center Line, that was ordered in 2009 by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality as part of a consent order to correct a chronic pollution problem.

The $13 million project included eliminating lift stations and replacing them with a larger high-capacity gravity system, said City Manager Richard Haberman.

The city's outdated sewer system for years had been forced to routinely dump sewage into Lake St. Clair when the system filled up during heavy rain that overwhelmed the system. Over the years, Fraser has discharged millions of gallons of untreated sewage into the waterways.

The Beacon Lift Station, which handles the majority of the city's sanitary sewer overflows, was taken offline two weeks ago and the system is now gravity operated.

"This new system will stop all of the overflows," Haberman said.

City officials received federal financial assistance to build the four-mile sewer line from Kelly and Masonic roads west to Hayes and north to a major sewer interceptor on 15 Mile Road. In addition, sewer pipes were relined and manholes rehabilitated to tighten up the system.

Fraser used a low interest state-federal loan and proceeds from the federal American Recovery & Reinvestment Act to pay for the work. City taxpayers are repaying the loan through their water bills.