This letter is in response to 3 different articles printed in the Grand Haven Tribune: #1 Friday, March 12, 2010 "3-Part Series to shed light on water," #2 Monday, April 5, 2010 "Ottawa County hopes to uncover underground water woes" and #3 Wednesday, April 14, 2010 "GHT water rates increase slightly".
This is a video of the neighbor's pump that has been pumping "Clean Ground Drinking Water" since May of 2008 and dumping down a county drian flooding out Our property along with neighborhood property's, all because he moved his house without any check and balance from the township and built his home in the water table.
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I found it to be very interesting that Grand Haven City did an education series on the Lower Grand River Water Shed. What I found amusing about the whole thing is that back in 2008 I contacted just about every water conservation group there is, even the LGROW, that could lead me in the right direction about a water issue located in Grand Haven Township. With all the information coming out in the paper about "Water", I feel it is time that the citizens of Grand Haven Township along with everyone in the Lower Grand River Watershed find out what every official in Grand Haven Township, the Drain Commissioners office, your State Representative’s office, the MDEQ's office and even MDOT know about a "water problem we have right here in Grand Haven Township". What if I could show you proof that a neighbor of mine is pumping water out of the ground and dumping it into a county drain at the rate of 309 gallons per minute?
Let’s do the math on this, shall we? Just imagine 18,540 gallons an hour or 444,960 gallons per day (that is equal to the volume of an Olympic sized swimming pool) or 13,348,800.00 per month of "Clean Drinking Water" just being dumped out into a county drain, causing unnecessary flooding of neighboring roads and properties. All this started at the end of May in 2008. This water has been pumping everyday on a continual basis. Let’s do the math on a year basis: 13,348,800.00 X 12 = 160,185,600.00, per year. Come June 1st of this year it will be 2 years that this “water” has been pumped and dumped into the County Drain. 2 X 160,185,600.00 = 320,371,200.00 gallons of Pure Clean Drinking Water. Just imagine all the non-point source pollution going into the watershed from this. Not only is it causing flooding, it is compromising a main thoroughfare between the Lakeshore and Grand Rapids. What if that road gives way and someone gets killed? Then will someone listen to me and do a story on this?
Then I read that the County wants to hire someone to do a study on the "Water Woes" of Ottawa County. Would you not think that this is a "Water Woe"? Would you not think that someone would want to do something about this? Would you not call wasting 160,185,600.00 gallons of Pure Clean Drinking Water a year a “Water Woe”?
Furthermore, the Grand Haven Township Board of Trustees has raised the water rates in the township. Oh, I know they will tell you that we are behind with raising the water rates, according to the study they had done. But, my question to them is; how can they morally, or professionally, raise the "water rates" when they are all very well aware of this water issue? Wouldn't it have been a better judgment call on their part to table this increase until this "Water Issue" is settled in the circuit court? How can the Board justify an increase when they are allowing this waste to happen? I know they will come back and say that there is a permit from the MDEQ to allow this and yes there is a permit, for the outfall structure. But, there is NO permit for the "water" being pumped out of the ground, which they are aware of as well.
What about the ordinance that is being broken here everyday? I'm sure there are people in this township that have broken some kind of ordinance and received a letter telling them they did so, with a fine for doing so. If you read our Ordinance 20.102 DISORDERLY DEFINITIONS: Sec 2: It reads as follows: No persons shall conduct himself or herself in a disorderly manner in the Township of Grand Haven, Ottawa County, Michigan. For the purpose of this Ordinance, a person conducts himself or herself in a disorderly manner when he or she does any act or engages in any practice hereinafter listed, or aids or abets any person who does any such act or engages in any such practice hereinafter listed:
#5. Willfully destroy damage, deface, injure, or tamper with any PROPERTY of another.
#18. Trespass or unlawfully enter or remain on the premises of another to the annoyance or disturbance of the lawful owner or occupant thereof;
Sec 4. VOLITIONS AND PENALTIES
A violation of any provision of this Ordinance shall constitute a misdemeanor. Any person who violates any provision of this Ordinance shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not to exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) and costs of prosecution, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days, or both, in the discretion of the court.
As of the date of this letter, no action has been taken against the violator of this Ordinance. I would hope that the Grand Haven Tribune finds this story to be worth the printing. I believe the residents of Grand Haven Township have the right to know what is happening in their township. This is a very well documented case. I have enclosed a few pictures for your review, and would ask that you contact me at your earliest convenience to do a full report on this story. We have had a pretty dry spring so far, but when the rains come so does more "water and flooding".
Grand Haven Township