Roscommon County Townships Proposing Sewer System, Wastewater Plant

Gerrish and Lyon Townships in Roscommon County have been working for more than three years to get a sewer system and wastewater plant built near Higgins Lake.

ImageSince 2018, leaders from Gerrish and Lyon Townships have been looking into the possibility of installing a sewer system around Higgins Lake.

They formed the Gerrish Lyon Utility Authority (GLUA) this past spring to head up the project.

“We have a lot of density of people around the lake and the septics are leaking in,” said David Hall, GLUA member-at-large. “We have other vectors of leak that go into the lake, but the biggest one is the septic systems.”

Hall says there’s been water tests in Higgins Lake for decades that recommended for the installation of a sewer system, but the townships only recently headed up the project.

“It’s the effluent that goes out of the septic into the ground that gets into the ground water,” said Hall. “These aquaphors go right and left, east and south, north and west, and, of course, they follow the watershed and they ultimately go into the lake.”

The GLUA has a proposed plan in place for a sewer system.

“We have an engineering firm that has worked diligently to put together the step sewer system, which is a septic tank effluent pumping sewer system,” said Hall. “The tanks will be water tight, no infiltration, no exfiltration of product. We use what’s called directional drilling. It’s trenchless technology. It goes under roads, under sidewalks, very minimal damage to trees, lawns. It’s really a great system and it solves the problem which is the effluent going into the lake.”

They’re looking into getting federal and state grants to help fund the project. Those that live within the district will also contribute to the bill.

“The GLUA is using a Public Act 188 of 1954, which will establish a special assessment district,” said Hall. “Those people in the collection area will be responsible for that special assessment district.”

However, Hall says the cost is minimal for residents, and will be setting up a financial assistance fund.

“The GLUA is looking for putting together their own fund for financial assistance of people that need it,” he said. “This will be done by private foundations that we’ll pull together and have a way in which we can assist those in need.”

The GLUA is hosting their third public comment meeting on Saturday, Oct. 23 at noon at the Roscommon High School Auditorium for residents to hear about their plan and the cost of the project.

“This is a hot topic, and Higgins is one of the few that does not have a sewer system around its lake and needs one,” said Hall.