Department of Public Works
- Water Rate - $ 4.286 per hundred cubic feet (748 gallons)
- Sewer Rate - $ 6.027 per hundred cubic feet (748 gallons)
- Administration Fee - Water $2.50 / Sewer $1.65
- Rates are in effect for any bill produced after January 1, 2020
Tap water is one of the better values in Southeast Michigan. For the price paid in a typical water bill, the quality of water in terms of taste, pressure and availability can’t be beat. While our source water from Lake Huron is free, costs are incurred for chemicals, treatment, pumping, distribution system operation and maintenance, meter reading, billing and customer support services.
The Great Lakes Water Authority provides potable water to nearly 4 million people in 126 communities. That is approximately 40 percent of the state’s population. The system pumps an average of 610 million gallons of drinking water a day, delivering it through 12,500 miles of distribution mains. Shelby Township’s water comes from Lake Huron. Water is produced as needed, in response to demand. The system is designed to treat and deliver water on a continuous basis. A 12-16 hour supply of treated water is typically kept in the reservoir at the treatment plant to supply potable water. If demand increases, production increases.
Water production by GLWA is a 24/7 operation 365 days a year. The 5 treatment plants, 22 booster pumping stations, 34 reservoirs and transmission mains are always in operation ready to meet demand. To ensure a reliable and adequate water supply, Shelby is connected to the GLWA system by 6 meter pit connections throughout the township.
Once water flows into Shelby, it is entrusted to our Water Department staff of 23 maintenance and administrative employees. This includes 8 licensed distribution system operators who manage 325 miles of water main, 3950 gate valves and 4791 fire hydrants that require routine maintenance. Meter reading, billing and customer service must also be provided for our 27,320 accounts.
In 2017 Shelby Township residents and businesses used approximately 2.94 billion gallons of water. The average use per day is 8.06 million gallons. Every time we turn on a faucet or start up our sprinkler systems we create a demand on the system. Of the total water used, 36% (8.16 Billion Gallons) was used for lawn irrigation.
As lawn irrigation is the largest user during the summer months, the water consumption is drastically impacted by the weather. If the area has ten days of heat and no rain, consumption goes up. Once it rains, consumption drops. As a result, the highest usage occurs during the summer.
Maximum day usages along with peak hour demand are things which are taken into consideration for delivery purposes. These are the ultimate conditions under which the Great Lakes Water Authority must be able to deliver water to our community. As part of our contract with GLWA, Shelby Township commits to a peak hour demand usage value that we will not exceed during the year. GLWA, in turn, commits to deliver these flow rates at a specific pressure range and sets its operation and capital improvement budgets around this flow rate.
Many components play a role in meeting the maximum day and peak hour demands. They include capital improvement cost to ensure the water reaches its destination, chemical costs to treat the raw water, and utility costs to pump the water from the source and transport the treated water to the local communities.
Electrical consumption is significant in the rising costs to meet peak hour demand. As electric rates climb during peak power usage so does demand and the cost to transport water. Similar to DTE Energy’s rate plan that gives customers a lower rate during off-peak hours, GLWA’s wholesale rate formula allows Shelby Township to balance summer water consumption by increasing use during offpeak hours which reduces our peak hour consumption on the highest demand day. Shelby Township can reduce demand by moving automated water usage to off-peak hours (see Sprinkling Ban Ordinance information). The net effect is to balance the demands on the system and reduce pumping required during peak hours.
While we are surrounded by 21% of the total fresh water on the planet, it is still an enormous task to ensure that a safe water supply is delivered to every residential, commercial and industrial user in the township. We realize how important it is that each person can rely on the quality and availability of this most valuable resource whether it is used for human consumption, domestic or commercial needs, lawn irrigation or fire protection. By utilizing the water wisely we can rest assured that this life sustaining element will be protected for future generations.