GWK 12 Towns Drain hits 40 year mark
Formerly known as the Twelve Towns Drainage District,
GWK serves all or parts of 14 communities encompassing
an area of 24,500 acres upstream of the Red Run Drain,
a tributary of the Clinton River.
Snippets from a press release earlier this year
The original facility was built in 1972,
but didn’t receive its operating license until 1973.
By the early 1990’s, Twelve Towns could no longer meet
the stringent environmental regulations.
As a result, the facility was expanded in 2006
to meet the new protocols and re-named the
George W. Kuhn Retention Treatment Basin
in honor of the late former Oakland County Drain Commissioner.
The number and size of the screens used at GWK
made it one of the largest screening facilities in North America.
Sixteen fine screens, with one-half inch openings
are used under normal conditions and
four emergency screens with two inch openings
come into play if upstream flows reach critical levels.
Debris collected by the screens, such as tires,
rocks and other large objects, is discharged
into an artificial channel that flushes
to the Detroit collection system for treatment.
SCREENS – Why do they need screens ?????
In dry weather, a combined sewer system (OAKLAND COUNTY)
sends the entire volume of waste-water to a sewage plant,
which treats and discharges it.
In WET weather, rain often fills up the combined sewer system,
so the “escape overflow ” mixture of sewage and stormwater
needs to be dealt with, before it gets dumped into a river.
The Master Control Room at GWK an array of ultra-modern
state-of-the-art technology facilitated by a
two-mile-long fiber optic communication network
which links eight Wonderware Intouch computer work stations
which give operators the capability of measuring
hypochlorite levels (chlorine) used to treat waste water.
This technology provides operators with the tools they need
to carefully monitor regional rainfall, depth of flow in upstream sewers,
rate and depth of flow within the RTB and rate of flow
to the Detroit collection system.
The easiest way to the facility is to drive east on 12 mile road
and turn left onto Dartmouth. Follow the road to the right.
GWK is in the back between Home Depot & Lowes.