Drywell system would be better for Lakeview Street and cause less pollution, resident says

This letter is in response to an editorial in last week’s 7/19/17 Lake Orion Review wherein certain statements were made in conflict with the facts presented below.

(“Darned press is at it again — all jammed up from Lakeview to Church Street,” page 7.)

The editor said: “Does he (Paul Widlak) really think adding that one measly drain on Lakeview is going to tip the proverbial scales and turn Lake Orion into a cesspool?”

I am sure the use of the word measly was an emotional response to all the excitement and fault generated by each side of this very critical Lake Orion lake pollution issue as advocated by the village council.

The issue here confronting the council is: Is adding one more pollution-causing input to our lake morally proper and ethically responsible to their village neighbors and lakefront property owners?

To show how wrong this would be, readers and the council need to know what the Michigan DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) proposed several years ago.

First know that the DEQ is a Michigan governmental group in Lansing charged with ensuring that all Michigan lakes, streams and rivers remain clean and without pollution. Knowing full well that many municipalities were in violation of that mandate from their past efforts to vent pollution away from their cities, villages and townships into bodies of Michigan waters, the DEQ wrote a more stringent law to prevent and correct the current problems and future intentions. It was the right thing to do for the future of Michigan citizen’s health and welfare.

All was well upon the laws presentation to the Michigan Congress for political approval but then the state said they wouldn’t pay for it, so they said let the Michigan municipalities pay for it. That caused outcry from the municipalities who said they knew this was the right thing to do but they didn’t have the money either. So, the statewide municipalities and Lansing looked at citizen taxation to pay for it but for some reason that wasn’t possible either. So, the DEQ, despite trying to do what was right for the future of the states citizenry, was voted down in Lansing – for all the wrong reasons and in spite of even understanding the agreed upon proper reasons. Politics can be non-understandable or selfish, eh.

So now we know that the village council can force this down our throats even though they know it’s terribly wrong and unhealthy to force pollution onto their neighbors. Do they have a conscience?

Of course, all this is unnecessary conflict if they would just look at the high costs of what they intend to force pollution into our lake versus doing it the right and much less expensive way.

The village knows they have wide easements along the western side of Lake View at the two addresses in question. In fact, large enough to install a 115-feet long by 10-feet wide by 12 to 15-feet deep drywell. The cost of that drywell material wise would be the costs of stones to fill it, and by leaving it exposed it can be driven on by the two affected neighbors and their visitors. In other words, there is no need to cement over it which would decrease its efficiency to absorb the incidental road runoff water that doesn’t go into the four holding tank cisterns that will feed the drywell.

The cisterns themselves will also seep water in the ground below the cisterns. Also, there is no maintenance to a drywell – it lasts 12-15 years until the sediment it filters fills it. Then it’s an easy job to dig it out and replace the stones.

The Stormceptor system the village engineers are advocating is much more expensive than a drywells deep pile of stones and requires maintenance several times a year or more to pump out the sludge and floating pollutions and sewerage and dispose of it properly and to code.

So, what’s the village debate about? Morally and ethically we know what to do and how to do it right and it’s much less expensive.

Fred Fleming

Lake Orion resident


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