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Emergency water main link provides residents clear-ity



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October 09, 2013 - Tim Smith of Lakewood Drive will no longer be embarrassed by his rust-stained socks.

"We can't wait to clean up the rust that has accumulated in the house over the years and then not have it come back, so it's great, I don't have to be embarrassed anymore," he said. "I can actually wear white shorts and socks."

He said goodbye to the well that used to pump his water on Friday, October 4, after officially connecting to the new water main built for his subdivision Long Lake Woods, the first household to do so. In celebration of ridding their rusty water, the family purchased new white socks.

Residents of both Long Lake Woods and Shores of Long Lake subdivisions now have the option to connect to the township's water supply, through their project of setting up an emergency watering system with Oxford. The same time the township is sending water to these neighborhoods they are connecting to Oxford's system.

"In case we have an issue where we can't get our water from Detroit, we can get our water from Oxford and vice versa, and that was the driving force of the project," Public Works Director Bill Ireland said. "The biggest thing we are doing for the residents is giving them not only quality water but also fire protection for the subdivision at a very low cost to the residents."

FDM Contracting of Shelby Township is completing the project, which has involved tearing up the roads in those neighborhoods.

"Our roads were in terrible condition and we've been to the township on several occasions trying to find out what it was going to cost," Smith said. "I believe the cost was close to $15,000 per house, and so now it's costing each homeowner a little over $3,000."

Township Supervisor Chris Barnett said this was possible because FDM was already there with all of their equipment mobilized on site.

"We were going to replace half the road that we were disturbing, so we came to the homeowners and said this is an opportunity for you if you want to replace the other half of the road for a fifth of the cost that it would have cost them before," Barnett said.

Smith is also excited for the savings he will see in his water bill.

"I got rid of my water softener. I had a reverse osmosis system. I had filters, I had all of this stuff in the house that cost me money on a monthly basis, and I'll never have that again. So it's almost a break even point once you add up all those charges. I'm loving it," he said.

Water purchased from Detroit arrives from Auburn Hills, so now if there is ever an issue with either of those municipalities, Orion Township can get water from their northerly neighbors in Oxford.

As president of his neighborhood community, Smith added that he has only heard good comments about the project and the contractors.

"If you need to get out they move their equipment. They tell you 'ok, it's going to be five minutes.' If they're going to block your driveway, they come to your house and let you know its going to be blocked for so many hours, so its been great," he said.

The water project and road replacement are expected to be finished before Halloween.

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