The Lake Huron Water Treatment Plant began full-scale operations in 1974. The plant is the most recent addition to the Detroit water distribution system. The plant is located at 3993 Metcalf Road in Fort Gratiot, Michigan. The Lake Huron plant was designed to be easily expandable to meet the needs of growing populations in the communities it serves to the north of Detroit. The plant has a current pumping capacity of 400 million gallons per day.
The Northeast Water Treatment Plant at 11000 E. Eight Mile Road in Detroit became the Detroit water system’s third water treatment plant. It was part of a $52 million expansion program, which included transmission mains, a reservoir and booster station. Dedicated in 1956, the plant was built to meet the needs of suburban communities located north of the city and has a current pumping capacity of 300 million gallons per day.
Detroit’s fourth water treatment plant, Southwest, became operational in 1964. Located at 14700 Moran Road in Allen Park, the plant was constructed at a cost of $18 million by the Wayne County Road Commission. It was acquired by the City of Detroit in a lease-purchase agreement as part of a consolidation of water services in southeast Michigan. The plant has a current pumping capacity of 240 million gallons per day.
The Springwells Water Treatment Plant at 8300 W. Warren Avenue in Dearborn became the Detroit system’s second water treatment facility. The plant’s $30 million estimated construction cost was approved by the Board of Water Commissioners in 1924. At the time of its dedication in 1935 it was the largest water treatment facility in the world. Construction was begun at a time when the City of Detroit was undergoing rapid change.
Construction was slowed by the onset of the Great Depression in 1929 and the dynamics of a broken economy caused many to question the logic behind such a large facility. However, the plant has since proved its worth many times over. A $35 million expansion program increased the plant’s pumping capacity from 340 million gallons per day (MGD) to 540 MGD in 1959.
The Detroit water system’s newest water treatment plant is located at 10100 E. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit. Water Works Park is the largest plant in Michigan to use ozone, a disinfectant more potent than chlorine. The plant can produce up to 240 million gallons of superior quality drinking water per day (MGD) with room for expansion to 320 MGD. The end result of the city’s $275 million investment in this state-of-the-art facility is water the way it is meant to be: colorless, odorless, and great tasting; even better tasting than the water for which DWSD has been justifiably lauded for more than 150 years.
Water Works Park has been in continuous use as a source of potable water since 1879. It has been a source of pride for the City of Detroit, as well as home to the world’s second tallest manmade structure prior to the Eiffel Tower and home to the first branch of the Detroit Public Library. Now that it is home to DWSD’s newest water treatment plant, the park is expected to continue to be a source of high quality drinking water for a long time to come.