Jim Nash is proud as poop of his new $32-million maze of pipes and boilers on the outskirts of Pontiac.
“This is going to revolutionize how sewage is treated,” says Nash, the boss of Oakland County’s drains and sewers.
Doesn’t excite you? Well, put on your COVID mask — it’ll cut down on odors we’ll encounter — and join a reporter and photographer as we tour a new way of handling everyone’s you-know-what.
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“We’re the first place in Michigan to try it and only the third in the nation,” Nash says on the tour.
In tax dollars and energy, this new technology will save a you-know-what load, Nash promises. Plus, it’s good for the environment, turning the mountains of hazardous solids that come from sewage plants, which other plants must truck off to landfills, into a safe and beneficial fertilizer.
Before starting construction, Nash, who is Oakland County’s elected water resources commissioner, had to get state regulators to approve a sewage permit for his new-fangled chemistry set at the Clinton River Water Resource Recovery Facility (formerly the Pontiac Wastewater Treatment Plant).
At a site 30 miles away in Macomb County, the same regulators denied a sewage permit sought by Nash’s counterpart, Macomb County Public Works Director Candice Miller. It was for a sewage project of almost the same cost, around $30 million.
During heavy rains, Miller’s project aimed