Texas Twp.: Illegal hookups could trigger sewage backups

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek
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TEXAS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Texas Township officials say illegal sump pump connections to Kalamazoo’s sewer system have put two city sewer lift stations in “imminent danger” of being overwhelmed.

The township says it has sent letters to homes in the Treasure Island Drive and DNR Drive areas asking owners to disconnect any illegal hookups to prevent possible sewage backups into their homes.

The township says the backup pump and auxiliary pumps at the sewer lift stations on Treasure Island Drive and DNR drive have been working non-stop to keep up with the flow. If any of the equipment malfunctions, raw sewage could flow into connected homes and possibly into Eagle Lake.

The township says Kalamazoo city officials have used a video surveillance to identify where the illegal hookups are and notify the property owners that they need to disconnect them.

“We understand that home owners are working to protect their homes; however, overwhelming the sanitary sewer system will jeopardize those homes as well as many others and cause considerable more damage. Please continue to work together to minimize negative impacts to health, safety and the environmental contamination resulting from the prohibited use of the sanitary sewer system,” the township stated in a Friday flood update.

Residents near Eagle and Crooked lakes have been dealing rising lake levels for more than a year. In September, Texas Township Supervisor John Hinkle said at least 150 homes had water in them.

The lakes don’t have a natural outlet, so residents wanted to start pumping the water out and into nearby Bass Lake. However, that process was slowed by environmental concerns and worries about properties downstream.

In late March, Texas Township announced the state had approved a permit to allow the township to pump water out of both lakes. A contractor is expected to begin installing piping in mid-April, with a special pumping filter arriving May 20.

The next public hearing on flooding issues is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 22 in the lecture all of the new admissions wing at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

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