Headworks, Inc., Awarded Landmark Contract as Part of Massive Drainage Project in Southeast Michigan
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Headworks, Inc.

One of the largest screening contracts ever awarded went to Houston-based Headworks, Inc., to supply 22 wastewater screens, valued at $2.4 million, as part of the fulfillment of "Contract 4" of the George W. Kuhn Drain Improvements project in Oakland County, Mich.

Construction work commenced on Contract 4 in Oct. 2001. Contract 4 covers the construction of additional retention treatment facility (RTF) capacity to handle excess wet weather flows, and the rerouting of select stormwater and combined sewer flows to alternate locations.

Drain Commissioner, John P. McCulloch said, "When completed in 2005, this facility will be the largest retention treatment facility in Michigan and among the largest in the country." The improvements will serve a drainage area of 24,500 acres across 14 communities. Total system storage will increase to 124 million gallons, and "will provide treatment for any flows exceeding storage capacity," McCulloch said.

The GWK Drain Team, led by Tetra Tech MPS (TTMPS), Ann Arbor, Mich., awarded the contract to provide the fine screens to Headworks Inc. because the equipment met the stringent requirements of the project. Sr. Vice President of TTMPS, Dr. Khalil Atasi, noted that the Headworks Mahr Bar Screens "were the best fit" for the uniquely-shaped weirs and the number of diversion structures because of the their "exceptionally low headloss."

Impetus for the project was spurred in the mid-1990s when public focus on water quality issues became front page news with the closing of public beaches along Lake St. Clair. Concerns centered on the quality and volume of combined sewer overflow discharges coming from the Twelve Towns Drain RTF (now known as the George W. Kuhn Drain RTF) after major storm events. To address these concerns, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality reissued the RTF's permit with more stringent requirements.

The 14 communities include the cities of Berkley, Birmingham, Clawson, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, Southfield, Troy along with Royal Oak Township and the Village of Beverly Hills.

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