Hartland Township could save some money by updating a document that preserves the municipality’s source water by regulating activity within the wellhead protection area.

As the area expands with more residents and businesses connecting to the water system, the township’s Wellhead Protection Plan will preserve the area where the water is sourced from. The plan also provides leverage for enforcement and addresses special use permits for future developments. The township’s first Wellhead Protection Plan was adopted in 2012 but has become “outdated”, according to Director of Public Works Robert West, who notes that the plan no longer accurately reflects the township’s water system. The township abandoned two supply wells a couple of years ago because they had become infiltrated with arsenic. West tells WHMI it was cost prohibitive to treat the arsenic, so the township decommissioned the wellheads; however the existing Wellhead Protection Plan still shows the wellheads in service with the aquifer analysis reflecting their inclusion.

In addition to inaccuracies, West says it’s important to update the plan because it is required by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) every six years at a minimum in order for a community to be grant eligible. Updating the plan will cost the township approximately $15,025; however the MDEQ also offers a grant that will reimburse the township up to 50% of that cost, therefore potentially bringing thousands of dollars back to the municipality. The financial impact was expected as the expenditure was included in the township’s budget that has already been approved for this fiscal year. The cost of revising the plan is also less than the $16,500 that was originally allocated for the task.

West says the process will first require completing and updating the wellhead protection area delineation and secondly, developing a revised plan. The township’s Board of Trustees approved a change order updating the plan at their Tuesday meeting. (DK)