Water Main Break At Dunegrass Development Takes 2 1/2 Months To Find
A water main leak at the Dunegrass Development resulted in significant water loss for the local wastewater treatment plant through the entire summer, with expenses estimated between $15,000 and $20,000, Saugatuck City Council Member Mark Bekken reported to his fellow city officials Monday night.
Bekken also serves as president of the Kalamazoo Lake Sewer and Water Authority (KLSWA).
“It took 2 1/2 months to find,” said Bekken about what officials found to be a complicated problem to solve at Perryman Street and Dunegrass Circle which is the entrance to the still-in-progress, 21-home luxury subdivision.
The leak did not result in any property damage in the area because sand soils absorb and disperse the water, KLSWA Manager Daryl VanDyke told The Local Observer Wednesday.
The culprit—which VanDyke emphasized as “theoretical”—was roots from a big tree that affected a piping connection.
Most of Dunegrass’ water main was drilled underground, the other with a process called open-cut installation.
As for the sewer service, Dunegrass opted for a septic waste system with drain fields.
“We anticipate disputes. We didn’t want this to be a case of us (KLSWA) saying, ‘This is what we are saying (regarding water loss and expenses incurred),’ so let’s bring in an amicable third-party (engineering firm Fleis & VandenBrink),” said VanDyke about how KLSWA sought out the engineer to act as an independent intermediary to solve the issue.
“The leak went on for quite a significant time. To my best estimate, there was three months worth of water loss,” said VanDyke. More specifically, the water depletion is estimated to have been 8 1/2 gallons of water per hour.
“I think all parties want this solved in a fair and amicable manner,” said VanDyke about ongoing discussions between KLSWA, the developer and the contractor.
“The piper installer will bear the brunt of the cost,” he added.
As for the Dunegrass project itself, the developer is slated to install a more than 100-foot seawall this December south of the Saugatuck Chain Ferry’s west side landing area.
That seawall is part and parcel of the Dunegrass’ marina proposal, now being mulled over by the City of Saugatuck’s Planning Commission.
That body previously expressed concern that the marina would not meet the appropriate set backs of buildings from the roadway and property lines.
One component of the marina proposal—the 144-square-foot bathroom and wet bar—is now the subject of a lawsuit advanced by the Dune Ridge developers earlier this year.