The Fire Chief Project: What? No Odors?

Community leaders celebrate cooperation on tour of White Pigeon Township Wastewater Treatment Plant

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When some 75 community leaders took a tour of the White Pigeon (Mich.) Township Wastewater Treatment Plant, one big thing they noticed was something not present.

Odors, that is. The guests at an invitation-only tour got a look at the results of the plant’s recent $3.1 million upgrade, which saw the two treatment lagoons dredged and relined, new aeration systems installed, and eight lift stations refurbished.

The 187,000 gpd plant serves the village of White Pigeon and parts of LaGrange County around Fish, Stone and Klinger lakes, according to an article in the Sturgis Journal newspaper. The tour highlighted the inter-community cooperation that makes the plant possible.

“We have quite a few stakeholders in the treatment plant,” White Pigeon Township supervisor Don Gloy told the newspaper. “It’s worth noting that the governor, for the past four years, has talked about communities working together, and as I look back at the history of this plant, what the governor has been talking about the past four years is something we’ve been doing here for the past 40 years.”

Attendees included representatives from LaGrange County Sewer District, Klinger Lake Association, Elkhart County Regional Sewer District, White Pigeon Township and the Village of White Pigeon. The tour was followed by an open house attended by about a dozen residents.

Gloy told the paper that guests were surprised that there was no offensive odor from the lagoons. He said that’s because of vigilant maintenance performed by a knowledgeable staff.

Fire departments talk often about joint service agreements. Here’s a clean-water agency emphasizing the value of such cooperation — and demonstrating the value of the services it provides for the money invested. That helps further the aims of The Fire Chief Project:

  • Raise clean-water operators to the status of the fire chief.
  • Inspire kids to become clean-water operators.


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