Near the end of the 1960’s, citizens and community leaders in Muskegon County were becoming increasingly aware of serious environmental problems in their community.
Several of the Muskegon County communities were dealing separately with their own municipal and industrial wastewaters in small, overburdened treatment facilities. Some of the main industries and communities in Muskegon County were discharging their wastewater directly into the lakes with inadequate treatment.
The County’s three main recreational lakes were being polluted. Depending upon the specific lake, there was visible direct pollution, periods of foul odor, severe algal blooms, and/or loss of open water surface to weeds. Swimming and boating in the lakes was unpleasant and becoming unsafe. Along with their surface and wastewater problems, older industries were leaving or closing rather than rebuilding. New industries and businesses were not coming to Muskegon. The frustrations and strains of these complex overlapping problems were causing residents to lose hope and pride in their communities.
In reaction to this, community leaders and planners in Muskegon County decided to design and build a spray irrigation system that would reliably treat up to 42 million gallons per day of wastewater. This forward-looking solution has served the community since 1973 and now stands as a significant community asset in attracting economic development.