Flood Response & Sewer Improvements

Flooding of the Tittabawassee River at the Tridge


April 2022: City Council Receives Dam, Flood Restoration Update from Community Groups

At a special meeting on Monday, April 25, 2022, the Midland City Council received updates on flooding infrastructure and dam restoration efforts headed by two local groups: Four Lakes Task Force and the MBA Advisory Committee on Infrastructure. As this meeting was held as an informational update for Council, no public comment was taken. Watch the video above to view this meeting or click the links below for PDF copies of the presentations.

Four Lakes Task Force is a non-profit organization delegated by Midland and Gladwin counties to administer and oversee the maintenance and operations of Secord, Smallwood, Wixom, and Sanford dams and lakes north of the City of Midland. 

The Midland Business Alliance Advisory Committee on Infrastructure  is charged with finding the best ways to work with local, state and federal partners to address longstanding flood issues that impact the citizens, business community and economic development in the GLBR.The committee is made up of MBA board members, members of the community at large, an MBA staff representative, and ex officio representatives from the Four Lakes Task Force, Midland County and the City of Midland.

Download the Four Lakes Task Force presentation (PDF)
Download the Advisory Committee on Infrastructure presentation (PDF)

January 10, 2022 - City Council Approves $295,000 Budget Amendment for Concept 5 Final Engineering Design (Video)

At its January 10, 2022 meeting, City Council approved a budget amendment in the amount of $295,000 to contract professional engineering consultants at Moore + Bruggink to provide final design engineering on the Concept 5 sewer improvements. The discussion begins at the 27:40 mark. Click here to download a PDF version of the presentation.

Project Map for Concept 5 Sewer Improvements (Tentative Timelines)

A detailed map showing all Concept 5 sewer improvements by timeline and area of City Opens in new windowClick on the map above to view a larger version (PDF)

The map listed above is a tentative timeline of key elements in the Concept 5 Sewer Improvement Plan. The larger map and box in the top left corner provide details on infrastructure improvements including new pipe installation, existing pipe lining and repair, and the installation of a 1 million-gallon underground storage area at the Sylvan pumpstation. Use the legend in the top right corner to see the projects color-coded by estimated implementation year. The smaller callout boxes detail phasing and property boundaries for two Footing Drain Disconnection Programs (FDDP) in the Moorland and Whitewood neighborhoods.

These timelines for construction are highly subject to change as the timeline progresses. Residents in the FDDP areas will receive more direct communication from City staff as construction dates approach.

A summary of the map's tentative information is listed in the table below:

Project TypeProject LocationProject Year
Moorland FDDPMoorland Dr, Berry Ct, Grouse Ct, Partridge Ln2023
Whitewood FDDPWhitewood Dr, Travis Ct, Mt. Vernon Ct2023
Off-line storageSylvan pump station2023
Sanitary pipe repairWaldo Avenue2023
Sanitary, storm, water main, street reconstructionMain St & Sugnet Rd2023
Moorland FDDPPartridge Ln, Oakridge Dr, Pinewood Dr/Ct, Oak Meadows Ct, Brambleridge Ln2024
Whitewood FDDPCongress Dr, Mt. Vernon Dr, Plymouth St2024
Sanitary, storm, water main, street reconstructionMain St & Saginaw Rd2024

Moorland FDDPOakridge Dr, Briarwood Ct, Chicory Ct2025
Whitewood FDDPForestview Dr2025
Sanitary, storm, water main, street reconstructionPerrine Rd2025
Moorland FDDPWackerly St, Dublin Ave2026
Whitewood FDDPGeorgetown Dr2026
Sanitary, storm, water main, street reconstructionSylvan Ln & Wanetah Dr2026
Moorland FDDPMoorland Ct, Warblers Way, Pine Meadow Dr, Butternut Pl2027

December 2021 - RedZone Robotics Completes Two-Year Sewer Mapping Project

In December 2021, Redzone Robotics completed its two-year sewer mapping project and finalized its report to the City of Midland. As you may have read elsewhere on this site, this project involved the assessment and data gathering for the condition of the pipes within the City's sanitarty sewer system via CCTV cameras, sonar,and LiDar (light detection and ranging). This information was then used to complete the condition assessment applying the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO) Pipeline Assessment and Condition Program (PACP), with all information provided to City staff to interpret. 

This is a vast amount of data, considering it encompasses grade levels of over 1,000,000 linear feet of sanitary sewer.  This data is currently being used and will continue to be used to create and prioritize areas of the City’s sewer system that require attention. Click here to download a copy of the report (PDF).

Curious about other updates? Scroll down to view the "Flood Response Updates: Year-by-Year Activities" at the bottom of the page.

Background of the 2017 Storm & Sanitary Sewer Study

During the flooding event on June 22-23, 2017 - which saw the second-highest recorded crest of the Tittabawassee River - thousands of residents within the City of Midland were impacted by surface flooding, flash flooding, and basement sewer back-ups. Although both the sanitary and storm sewer systems performed as designed during this event, they were inundated with water. Residents asked: Could this be prevented or mitigated in the future? The City decided to seek outside help to answer that question.

On October 16, 2017, Midland City Council approved a study of the City’s sanitary and storm sewer system to be conducted by a joint venture of engineering firms 
Hubbell, Roth & Clark (HRC) and OHM Advisors. HRC tackled the sanitary sewer study, while OHM conducted research on the City’s storm sewer infrastructure. 

Final drafts of the 2017 Midland Sanitary & Storm Sewer Study were made available to the public on June 11, 2018, with the finalized report presented to City Council on Monday, September 10, 2018. You can access both documents and the executive summary, as well as supplementary materials below.

 Click to read Volume I: Executive Summary

 Click to read Volume II: Storm Sewer Study    

 Click to read Volume III: Sanitary Sewer Study    

In October 2018, City staff presented a series of recommendations for action based upon the consultants’ study findings, community feedback from the public input sessions, and additional field research and monitoring throughout the city.

Watch the video below (beginning at the 1:48:00 mark) to view the full presentation of these updates. A copy of the presentation is also available by clicking the button below the video.

 Click to view the full recommendations presentation (PDF)    

Watch: City Council Action Related to Sewer Study & Flood Response

Click the links below to access meeting video and documents presented to Midland City Council.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following the June 2017 event, residents had questions about the state of our storm and sanitary sewer systems, the causes of flooding in Midland, and other topics. We’ve assembled a list of the most frequently asked questions below.

Ongoing Flood & Sewer Study Response 

Since the sewer study was completed in 2018, City staff and contractors have made progress on the consultants' many recommendations. All recommendations will take years to implement, but you can find a list below of items completed to date. (You can find a year-by-year breakdown of activities in the next section.)

What's Actually Been Done?

  • Asset characterization program (video and sonar mapping from RedZone Robotics) has been completed in all Priority 1 areas. Seventy-five (75) percent of the data has been coded, with all data expected to be completed by March 2021.This applies to both the storm and sanitary sewer systems.
  • Ongoing yearly culvert inspections and open ditch cleaning in areas with City jurisdiction.
  • Installation of rainfall and river gauges throughout the Tittabawassee River watershed to assist in data collection, particularly given the absence of upstream dam system after May 2020 flooding event.
  • Aerial drone surveys with assistance from Midland County Drain Commissioner to identify and perform open ditch clearing in blocked areas
  • Land property surveys along Sturgeon Creek from Wackerly Street to Saginaw Road to determine property rights and jurisdictions for public vs. private and City vs. County vs. State responsibility for maintenance
  • Installation of flow meters in all Priority 1 areas have been completed to monitor flow data in the sanitary sewer system and will be used to update the model for predicting system performance. Flow monitoring will begin in Priority 2 areas this year, but will need time to gather significant amounts of data.
  • Sanitary sewer pipe lining and manhole rehabilitation/replacement projects in needed areas anticipated to begin in the 2020-21 fiscal year.
  • Priority items have also been implemented into the City’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2020-2026 to document and collaborate sewer system projects with other capital improvements, such as street reconstruction and water main replacements, to make these improvements as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible.
    Click here to read the 2020-2026 Capital Improvement Plan.

Current Challenges Faced:

  • Homes located within or adjacent to the 100-year floodplain will see some level of flooding and water issues regardless of any proactive measures taken as they are within a floodplain
  • The absence of a dam system north of Midland has led the Tittabawassee River to behave in new ways during wet weather events, making its impact on our sewer systems and flooding concerns more difficult to predict
  • Insufficient budget and staffing levels to properly and efficiently maintain all open ditch clearing requests received by Wastewater staff
  • Sturgeon Creek is a Water of the State under State of Michigan jurisdiction, preventing the City or County from performing any activities on the waterway unless on property it owns or controls. The City must apply and pay for a permit ($500+) each time it performs maintenance on its properties.
  • The City has very little jurisdiction over much of the Tittabawassee River system, including the upstream dam system.
  • Budgeting for additional sewer improvements is insufficient to pursue staff-recommended options. (Current budget is $750,000) Additional funding sources must be found before projects can be initiated.
  • If Council desires a higher level of service from the sanitary sewer system beyond 25-year, 24-hour levels in Priority 1 areas, additional expenditures and studies would be necessary to determine what would be needed. EGLE currently requires the elimination of I&I from a system before permitting increases in level of service.
  • Current Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) does not include the proposed sanitary and storm sewer recommendations, but the plan is largely ready for presentation. Adding these projects to the CIP would drastically change the document.

This section last updated March 23, 2021.

For a full timeline of activities related to the Storm & Sanitary Sewer Study, please use the tabs in the container below to navigate by year. The most recent updates will appear in the '2021' tab. Each tab lists activities in chronological order.

Flood Response Updates: Year-by-Year Activities

  1. 2022
  2. 2021
  3. 2020
  4. 2019
  5. 2018


January 10, 2022 - City Council Approves $295,000 Budget Amendment for Concept 5 Final Engineering Design (Video)

At its January 10, 2022 meeting, City Council approved a budget amendment in the amount of $295,000 to contract professional engineering consultants at Moore + Bruggink to provide final design engineering on the Concept 5 sewer improvements. The discussion begins at the 27:40 mark.

Click here to download a PDF version of the presentation.

Watch: Sewer Study Video Library 

If you prefer to watch your information instead of read it, you're in luck! Check out the sewer study video library below for video updates from City Council meetings, an explanation of sanitary vs. storm sewer systems, tips to keep your basement dry, and more. Videos appear from earliest to most recent beginning in July 2017.

Use the arrows on each side of the video player to scroll through the library.