South County Sewer and Water Authority

Project and Website Overview 
This website has been created on behalf of the South County Sewer and Water Authority (SCSWA) in effort to make information from a Wastewater Feasibility Study as accessible as possible to area-wide stakeholders.  The study was commissioned by the SCSWA and investigates the feasibility of meeting various municipal wastewater service needs in the South County region.  The SCSWA service area encompasses Brady Township, Pavilion Township, Schoolcraft Township, the Village of Schoolcraft, and the Village of Vicksburg. To help you navigate the information contained on this site, below is a summary of how the study topics are arranged on the site.
  • Project Need, Narrative and Details
  • Proposed Service Areas
  • Project Alternatives
  • Feasibility Study Tables/Spreadsheets
  • Petition Process Information
  • General Information
  • Past PowerPoint Presentations on the Proposed Project
  • Project Steps and Tentative Timeline 
  • Contact Information
  • Recent Updates
  • Construction Details
Please note the distribution of the study findings is the first of many steps in deciding if a potential project is to be implemented.  

Project Need, Narrative and Details
The primary need to be addressed by this project is the lack of reliable and economical public wastewater collection services available to the South County area which is currently served by onsite septic systems.  In addition, providing wastewater treatment services to the existing sewered areas owned by the South County Sewer and Water Authority (Authority) will be accomplished.  The un-sewered areas contain many small lots with inadequate area for proper onsite treatment.  The lake areas have both small lots and high groundwater making onsite treatment even more difficult.

The project planning area includes the areas around Indian & Pickerel Lakes in Brady and Pavilion Townships which are currently served by the Authority wastewater collection system, in Kalamazoo County.  The planning area also includes Barton, and Sugarloaf Lakes; the US-131 commercial corridors north and south of the Village of Schoolcraft; the Village of Schoolcraft; all of which are in Schoolcraft Township, Kalamazoo County. The final area to be served is the residences near the UV Avenue and Sprinkle Road intersection.  The project is located in southwestern Kalamazoo County in Southwestern Michigan.

The proposed project includes the installation of a gravity collection sanitary sewers to serve the developed areas on Barton, and Sugarloaf Lakes; the commercial areas on US-131 north and south of the Village of Schoolcraft; a portion of Sprinkle Road and UV Avenue; and the Village of Schoolcraft.  The project also includes lift station improvements and installation of a connecting forcemain between the existing sewer systems serving Indian & Pickerel Lakes and the new sewer service areas.  This transmission main will deliver wastewater from both areas to a proposed 530,000 GPD treatment facility. The proposed project will meet the primary needs noted above.

1 2 4 5 6 7 3 9 Proposed Service Areas
The below map shows the layout of all existing and proposed wastewater system infrastructure considered as part of the study.  Click on the shaded area for a detailed map of a particular location. Maps depict manhole locations, gravity sewer main location and sizes, forcemain location and sizes, pump station locations, existing service area districts, proposed assessment district boundaries, and parcel/roadways/etc. line work.  

(Index map updated as 08.04.2018)

Updated Maps and Cost Estimates
As of July 31, 2018 Feasibility Study Tables/Spreadsheet
The following PDF contains the raw data and analysis supporting the proposed project scope, costs, operating budgets, and assessments/fees associated with each project alternative.  The tables include population and flow projections;  construction cost estimates for collection, transmission, and wastewater treatment systems;  project cost estimates;  proposed replacement reserve budgets for existing and new infrastructure;  evaluation of existing SCSWA operating budgets;  proposed Operation, Maintenance & Replacement (OM&R) budgets for each alternative;  proposed rate and assessment calculations;  proposed REU and parcel allocations for non-residential stakeholders; and historical wastewater flow information for the existing SCSWA systems.

2018.06.18 Project Feasibility Study.pdf

Petition Process Information
As mentioned above in the Project Details section, the various project alternatives consider serving both existing SCSWA customers as well as new customers in service areas to which infrastructure will be extended.  In the case of existing customers, the decision to proceed with a project is typically made by the officials currently managing those systems on behalf of their customers.  However, for the new system extensions to proposed service areas within the Village of Schoolcraft, Schoolcraft Township, and Brady Township, the municipal leaders have decided to utilize a petition process to gauge the level of support from each proposed service area before deciding to move forward.  Likewise, the following section generally describes how this process will be conducted for these areas.  The proposed assessment district areas are outlined by a yellow dashed line on the Proposed Service Areas Map link above.  The districts considered for sewer improvements and the associated municipality to which petitions are submitted include:
  • Barton Lake – Schoolcraft Township
  • Sugarloaf Lake-Schoolcraft Township
  • U.S. 131 North and South of the Village of Schoolcraft limits – Schoolcraft Township
  • Village of Schoolcraft
  • UV Avenue – Brady Township
The Township’s and Village have sent the below letter to all owners of parcels lying within the proposed assessment districts.  The letter is an effort to notify as many people as possible about the proposed project.  Additionally, should there be interest in garnering  support, residents local to the proposed district will be responsible for circulating petitions.  The Township will not spearhead a petition effort.

Letter to Property Owners (August 1, 2015) 
Both Wightman and the Township/SCSWA officials would be pleased to meet and discuss the proposed project should there be questions after review of the web site materials.  If an individual(s) from a proposed assessment district is passionate about circulating petitions, officials will advise on the proper circulating methods to assure signature efforts comply with applicable petition statues.
With regard to petitions submitted to the Township, the petition is based on proceeding under Act 188 of the Public Acts of Michigan of 1954, as amended (Act 188).  This is the statute typically followed by townships to finance public improvements through the levy of special assessments.  The petition is set up as a formal petition meeting the statutory requirements that, for a sanitary sewer project, the sufficiency is measured by whether the record owners of more than 50% of the total land area in the special assessment district have executed the petition.  By way of information, a current summary of procedures a Township needs to follow under Act 188 is provided in the below document prepared by Mika Meyers Beckett & Jones PLC, a law firm very knowledgeable in the finer legal and financial requirements of such a project.
Act 188 Procedures SA 2015.pdf
With regard to petitions submitted to the Village of Schoolcraft, Act 188 does not apply to the Village.  Instead, the General Law Village Act provides that a general law village may enact an ordinance setting forth the special assessment procedures applicable to the project.  The Village of Schoolcraft has done exactly this and Chapter 42 of the Village Code of Ordinances sets forth the relevant special assessment procedures.  A link to this Chapter 42 is provided below. 
Chapter 42 of Village Code of Ordinances
Additionally, based on an interpretation of Chapter 42, only a single public hearing must be held by the Village with the primary subject of that public hearing being to consider the proposed special assessment roll and any objections thereto.  In contrast to Chapter 42, Act 188 generally requires a township to hold two public hearings; although, under the bypass procedures referenced in Paragraph 21 of the Act 188 summary document and depending upon the statue utilized for issuing a project bond issue, it may be possible to skip the first public hearing such that only one public hearing will be required by the Township on the special assessment roll.
The approved petition forms for each major assessment district are found below, correlate to the districts shown on the project mapping, and contain parcel ID, owner name, and property address.
Petition For Each Assessment District
Barton Lake Petition.Schoolcraft Twp.PDF (As of August 12, 2015)
Sugarloaf Lake Petition.Schoolcraft Twp.PDF (As of August 12, 2015)
US 131 North & South Area Petition.PDF (As of August 12, 2015)

The following web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) link is provided to assist in locating the properties referenced on the petition forms.  You may search by owner name or parcel ID, owner name and property address. Once located, relationship to the proposed sewer collection system and assessment district boundaries can be observed as they are also shown on the GIS mapping.


To help clarify, here is a copy of the legend.

General Information
Low Income Assistance.pdf
Kalamazoo County Sanitary Code.pdf
Letter of Support from Health Dept.pdf
Statewide Septic Code Whitepaper.pdf
Proposed Senate Bill Based on Septic Whitepaper.pdf
2003 July, SCSWA Ordinance Amendment.pdf

Questions & Answers

  • General
  • Lakes & Sewers

Wightman & Associates, Inc. Lake Sewer Experience.pdf
Septic tanks aren't keeping poo out of rivers and lakes _ MSUToday _ Michigan State University.pdf

Past PowerPoint Presentations on the Proposed Project

July 2014 Barton Lake Association.pdf
September 2014 Sugarloaf Lake Association.pdf
January 2015 Schoolcraft Village.pdf

Contact Information

Questions or concerns can be addressed to any of the following via email or phone:

Alan Smaka, P.E. 
Wightman, 9835 Portage Road, Portage, MI  49002  Office: 269.327.3532 Direct: 269.200.4240

Recent Updates (Content to be added at a later date as the project progresses)

Construction Details (Content to be added at a later date as the project progresses)

  • Project Contractor Information

  • Progress Schedules

  • System Layout

  • Current Work Locations and Hook-Up Notification Areas

  • Hook-Up Procedures

  • List of Hook-Up Contractors