The Hartland Township Board of Trustees is looking at new technology that could multiply the effectiveness of their existing water treatment plant.

With the plant being pushed closer to the limits of what it can do, the board has had to start weighing options for increasing its output. One consideration is to add a third filter. According to Public Works Director Bob West, that would up their filtration capacity from 3 gallons per cubic feet per second to 4, and they would be facing this same problem again in the near future. He recommended a new technology, one that utilizes a treatment where an air compressor system creates a biological material that eats the iron, and then is washed out in the process.

This new biological method can increase the plant’s output with the two existing filters to 10-12 gallons per cubic feet per second. West said Waterford and Lyon Townships both use this method and have found it to be the most effective method for removing iron, which is the biggest problem in filtration. The expense of upgrading the current filters to be able to use this technology will cost the township an estimated $400,000 to $500,000, which is comparable, if not slightly less than the cost of adding a third filter.

Township Manager James Wickman said it’s not often they find solutions like this that are all upside and allow them to make use of facilities they already have without cramping space or the need for expansion. The board unanimously approved a proposal to go through with a pilot study which is required by the Department of Environmental Quality before the conversion can begin. (MK)