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Public Works Office
Candice S. Miller
21777 Dunham Road, Clinton Township, MI 48036
(586) 469-5325

Contact: Dan Heaton

Phone: 586-469-7424



August 05, 2019

MCPWO Rehabs County’s Only Biofilter


A crew works to remove wood chips at Macomb County Public Works Office's biofilter facility, along 15 Mile Road, near Garfield, in Fraser. The facility neutralizes sewer gas in the sewer interceptor line that runs under 15 Mile Road, which helps to minimize the corrosive action of the gas on the pipe's interior. The wood chips serve as the filter for the gas and had reached the end of their useful life. The replacement of the 800 cubic yards of wood chips took about three regular business days.

The Macomb County Public Works Office is putting the finishing touches on the refurbishment of the county’s only biofilter facility.

The biofilter pulls sewer gas out of the 15 Mile Road sewer interceptor and runs the gas through a filter of wood chips. The process removes corrosive gas from the pipe, thereby helping to extend its useful life.

“This is part of our ongoing preventative maintenance program on all of our underground and related infrastructure,” said Commissioner Candice S. Miller. “It is all about an ounce of preventative maintenance being more effective than a pound of repair after the fact.”

The biofilter is located along 15 Mile Road, near Garfield, in Fraser. About the size of a football field, the system uses a fan to pull up to 20,000 cubic feet of air from the sewer, about 60 feet underground, and sends it through one of three beds of wood chips. The chips remain effective for about four years, before needing to be replaced. The wood chips – about 800 cubic yards worth -- are made from old shipping pallets.

The project costs about $70,000.

“We are continuously looking at our system, inspecting our pipes and then schedule this work in a time and manner that gets the best benefit for the rate payers of this system,” Miller said.

The biofilter is operated by MCPWO on behalf of the Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District, a group of 11 communities in central Macomb County, that owns the interceptor pipe under 15 Mile and related facilities.

To see a video to learn more about the biofilter project, visit our YouTube channel: