WRC E-Newsletter Summer 2017

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WRC E-Newsletter Large

 Summer Issue                                                                                                                                                  2017

Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash Wins Major Award

MWEA Award

The Michigan Water Environmental Association (MWEA) has named Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash its Public Utility Management Professional of the Year at their annual awards ceremony last month.

Pictured above is MWEA's past president, Brian Russo, handing Commissioner Nash the award. The Public Utilities Management Professional of the Year award was established in 2002 and is awarded to a worthy individual who has demonstrated:

  • Outstanding dedication to an employer and the MWEA
  • Excellence in public utilities management and publicly promotes the water environment profession.

“I’m humbled and gratified to receive this award and the recognition from the Michigan WEA, a group of professionals who are highly regarded.  They are great folks who do great work for the public good,” said Nash.

5th Annual Stormwater Summit is October 20, 2017

Lawrence Technological University Hosts Event in Southfield

Commissioner Nash’s Fifth Annual Stormwater Summit, organized by the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s office and Pure Oakland Water (POW), will take place at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield on Friday, October 20th. The event hours are 9 a.m. to  3:30 p.m. 
Lunch is provided and costs $25. A free learning session entitled, “How Homeowners Can Develop their Own Green Infrastructure” will begin at 3 p.m. and all are welcome.

Stakeholders attending the conference represent local, county and state government, business leaders and contractors, environmental advocates, the public and others.  

“With this annual gathering, we are facilitating more regional collaboration and planning on this very important topic. It is more critical than ever that we face changing weather patterns, stricter pollution controls, and aging infrastructure,” said Jim Nash, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner and convener of the summit.

Topics will include low impact development technologies, green infrastructure, climate change, funding opportunities, and new stormwater standards. Michigan water resources commissioners, drain and public works commissioners, their staff members, city, township and village officials, watershed council members, and environmentalists, along with engineering and industry professionals are invited to attend.

This year’s keynote speaker is Helen Noehammer, the Director of Transportation & Infrastructure Planning with the City of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

For more information please contact Alyssa Atkinson at atkinsonaa@oakgov.com.

Registration will begin September 1, 2017. To register go to pureoaklandwater.org.

Community Infrastructure Project Updates

Under Construction: Hamlin Drain Extension in Bloomfield Township

Under Construction: Walled Lake - Novi Wastewater Treatment Plant Headworks and Security Improvements in Novi

Under Construction: Clinton River Water Resource Recovery Facility Biosolids Handling and Septage Receiving Facility in Pontiac

For more information about the status of these infrastructure projects and others, go to www.oakgov.com/water to view updates. For information, call 248-858-0958.

Art-Fish-Fun Festival Draws Hundreds and Promotes Education

picnic 1

For the fourth year in a row, the Water Resources Commissioner's staff, the Art Experience and the City of Pontiac joined volunteers from Pure Oakland Water, along with many sponsors and local agencies to host the annual Art-Fish-Fun Festival on Saturday, June 10th. This year’s free family-fun event and park cleanup held in Pontiac’s Beaudette Park doubled in size, with record attendance reported.

Hundreds of people learned about conservation, wildlife, fish, and water-related environmental issues at the festival. More than 40 arts and educational activities designed for youth were provided. The free festival provided those in attendance the opportunity to fish with Commissioner Jim Nash. He supplied free bait and helped many first-timers cast their fishing reels. Participants also learned about the value of our natural resources and local waterways.

County residents from Pontiac, Rochester Hills, Southfield, Waterford and many of the surrounding communities found enjoyment at the event, which also celebrated “River Day” designated on June 10th, and Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend which coincided with that date.

The Art-Fish-Fun Festival represents our mission of providing a quality of life that is attractive to people and business. It also reflects the importance of community building and demonstrates our belief that an educational and fun activity can set into motion positive community engagement. As a result, some overlooked community assets, like Beaudette Park, have experienced an increase in activities and rebirth.

The Art-Fish-Fun Festival is supported by the Pontiac Arts Commission and the Clinton River Watershed Council, in collaboration with numerous businesses, arts and nonprofit organizations. Each year, the outstanding work of community stakeholders and festival organizers Audra Pieknik, Communications Coordinator, The Art Experience; Alyssa Atkinson, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner's Office; Judy Wilson, Executive Director, The Art Experience and  Jacquelyn Tennille, City of Pontiac Department of Public Works, make  the event possible. For more information about AFF 2017, click here
Mark your calendars for the 2018 Art-Fish-Fun Festival scheduled for June 9, 2018.

picture 2

New Drop-Off Box Provides Payment Options in Pontiac

Pontiac Drop Box

On May 18th, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner joined Pontiac elected officials during a special ribbon-cutting ceremony to announce a new payment drop-off location, in Pontiac’s City Hall. Residents and WRC customers can leave payments at the drop-off box, in the atrium area, of Pontiac’s City Hall, located at 47450 Woodward Avenue.

Bill payment envelopes will be available and only checks or money orders will be accepted at the payment drop-off box location. If there is a bill concern, customers can use the WRC telephone to call and speak to a billing representative. Payments can be dropped off, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

By telephone request only, face-to-face appointments can be scheduled in advance, for the “Third Tuesday” of each month from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., a WRC representative will meet with customers by appointment only. For more information, call Oakland County’s Water Resources Billing Services at 248-858-1110.

(Pictured left to right: Pontiac City Council member Kermit Williams, Council President Patrice Waterman, Commissioner Jim Nash, Mayor Deirdre Waterman, Council President Pro Tem Mary Pietila, Oakland County Commissioner David E.S. Bowman and Councilmember Doris Taylor Burks)

WRC Pump Station Dedication Honors Sacrifice

GWK plaque dedication

 On Saturday, June 24, 2017, family traveled from near and far to be a part of the long-awaited naming of the Walter T. Gay Walnut Lake Pumping Station #1. Four generations of the Gay family joined Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash and WRC staff at the special dedication ceremony, where the unveiling of the new plaque affixed to the station was revealed. A tour of the station and a moment of silence, with all present holding hands around the newly-planted memorial tree took place. This tree was also dedicated to commemorate the life of the late underground contractor, Walter T. Gay, Jr. The Gay family matriarch, Ms. Frances Gay, along with her family expressed gratitude for the recognition of her late husband.  

It was almost 50 years ago, during the installation of the first lift station at the Walnut Lake Pumping Station #1, when Mr. Gay, Jr. was accidentally killed while working on May 13, 1968 at the site. At that time of his death, he was part owner of the Bloomfield Township based Gay Brothers Construction Company, Inc.

The station that Mr. Gay worked on provides sanitary sewer services to the communities of Bloomfield Township and West Bloomfield Township. With the upgraded station completed approximately 10 years ago, the Walnut Lake Pump Station #1 has successfully reduced the occurrences of sanitary sewer overflows by allowing operators to pump sewage into different sanitary interceptors.


  1. Oakland County Commissioner Jim Nash Wins Major Award
  2. 5th Annual Stormwater Summit is October 20, 2017
  3. Community Infrastructure Project Updates
  4. Art-Fish-Fun Festival Draws Hundreds and Promotes Education
  5. New Drop-Off Box Provides Payment Options in Pontiac
  6. WRC Pumping Station Dedication Honors Sacrifice
  7. Certified Water Operators Wanted
  8. Water Payment Assistance Available for Eligible Residents
  9. Watch What You Flush!
  10. WRC Speakers Bureau
  11. Did You Know?
  12. WRC Contact Information        

Certified Water Operators Wanted

Job openings

Do you know that certified water operators are a crucial part of providing an adequate and safe supply of water?

What is a certified operator?

A certified operator is an individual that works to ensure safe water. Operators can work in various areas such as water, wastewater, distribution and reuse. These operators maintain equipment and processes to monitor and affect water as it moves through the treatment and distribution cycles.

To learn more about how to become a certified operator please click here.

To apply for a water operator position with Oakland County WRC please click here.


Water Payment Assistance Available for Eligible Residents

WRAP handshake

Community Action Alliance Water Residential Assistance Program is available to help with water payments.

If you are delinquent on your water bill and qualify for assistance, please click here
or call 313-386-9727 for more information.

For additional support, click here for a list of service agencies.


Watch What You Flush!


Listed below are only a few items that are not to be flushed:

1.  Fats, Oils, Grease (FOG)
2.  Flushable Wipes
3.  Dental Floss
4.  Cotton Balls
5.  Food Scraps
6.  Paper Towels/ Cloth Towels
7.  Kitty Litter

For additional information, click on the Pipe Down public service announcement and the FOG brochure or go to www.oakgov.com/water.


WRC Speakers Bureau


Pictured with Commissioner Nash (right) are WRC staff left to right: Sewer Maintenance Supervisor Richard Cook and Chief Deputy Anne Vaara addressing a neighborhood association.

We believe the work we do at the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner's office would make for an eye-opening and fascinating topic of discussion for your community or neighborhood group. After all, this office impacts countless aspects of your daily life.

For more information, click on the Speaker’s Bureau link or call 248-858-1404.

Speakers Bureau 2

Pictured with Commissioner Nash is WRC’s Water Systems Assistant Chief Engineer Amy Ploof explaining how the water meter equipment works to a neighborhood group.

Did You Know?

thumbs up

Oakland County Commissioner Jim Nash is contracted to provide operations and maintenance for water and sewer systems in 24 communities. He is responsible for water quality, stormwater facilities and manages lake levels. He makes certain that the numerous storm and sanitary systems owned by Oakland County are properly maintained.

He has a budget of $300 million and a workforce of 350 employees.


WRC Contact Information

One Public Works Drive
Building 95 West
Waterford, MI 48328

Phone: 248-858-0958
Fax:  248-858-1066

Water & Sewer Billing:

Oakland County 24-Hour Pollution Hotline 248-858-0931

E-mail: wrc@oakgov.com

Web Site: www.oakgov.com/water


To offer feedback please contact ruffinj@oakgov.com

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