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Nine Mile Sanitary Sewer

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Wednesday, June 23
6 p.m.
ITC Community Sports Park

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Ben Croy, City Engineer
Community Relations

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Map - Nine Mile Gravity Sewer Project

Updated June 14, 2021


The Nine Mile Gravity Relief Sanitary Sewer Project involves the construction of sewer along Nine Mile from Kensington Road to Evergreen Court. Staff identified the project in 2013 as high priority to eliminate the concern for redundancy of the Park Place pump station. Given the current proximity of the Park Place station, which is 1.6 miles from the closest gravity outlet (near Kensington Drive), a failure on the existing force main could result in sanitary service interruption and/or a major sewage overflow. Engineering for the project was approved in 2016 and work started in 2019.

The project is approximately 88% complete, with 5,600 feet of sewer installed (800 feet remaining). Deep construction and the high-water table have made the project challenging and caused delays. Drilling operations have been especially difficult as of late with boulder obstructions requiring new drill bits and additional equipment fabrications. The push is to have the project completed by the end of summer.

Crews are currently working on installing the pit to continue directional drilling. This is a larger excavation than previously planned to provide better access if problems arise with more rock obstructions. The intent is to have the pit completed by the end of the week, with drilling to resume next week.

Garfield Lake

What Happened
What Are We Doing
What Is The Plan
Pump Replacement

Underground Rivers

Since the public meeting on May 3, we have been following up on many of the comments heard. One of which was the prevalence of an "underground river" near the construction site. According to Mike Wilczynski, Certified Professional Geologist enlisted by residents impacted, he does "not know of any situation where an underground river could form in glacial sediments."
Mr. Wilczynski said there may be "areas with highly permeable gravel layers or lenses that flow more groundwater," but no underground rivers.

"There are so many misconceptions about water below the surface. I think you may have just been encountering some highly permeable sediments and have a higher groundwater level than the piezometers predicted. The boulders and rocks are typical of a glacial till that is shown on the Oakland County Geology Map."
As we continue to follow up on questions, we will be certain to share information when it becomes available.


Restoration work is ongoing as areas of the project are completed. A main portion of restoration includes the regrading and reshaping of Nine Mile Road. As for Garfield Lake, staff will continue to work with residents and monitor impacts of the project.
Mayor Gatt and City Council have provided clear direction to right any wrongdoings incurred by residents as a result of this project.

Additional Information

Report - June 9, 2021
Memo - February 12, 2021
Memo - November 12, 2020
Memo - September 4, 2020
Memo - May 15, 2020