Sewer Extension Project

US 23 Sewer project 2022-2023

The US 23 Sewer project is moving as scheduled and ended the 2022 year with an additional estimated hook up of 100 locations. It is our goal to see that this year is just as successful. Just a reminder those in the first phase have until  June 25, 2023 to hook up. 



Dear AuSable Township Property Owner,

This letter is sent as Notice of Availability to you as the owner of property in AuSable Township, that Phase 2 and 3 (South of Johnson Rd. - 3006 N US 23) of the public sanitary sewer system is available for connection to your property. Please read this carefully and refer questions about this information to Deb in our DPW department at 989-739-1838.  Michigan Act 368 of 1978 and AuSable Township Ordinances 42,120 and 131 (copies of which are available in the township hall) require property owners to connect to the AuSable Township sewer system within 540 days (March 13, 2024) if:

  • Your property includes a structure in which sewage originates that is within 200 feet of the right of way.
  • Your property includes a structure in which sewage originates that is beyond 200 feet of the right of way and you have committed to connecting to the system.

As each phase of the construction is complete, property owners in completed sections become responsible for the following:

  • Monthly payment of the system-wide 40-year debt repayment fee of $19.73 (per REU) which will be added to your water bill with the September 2022 bill. If you have not received a bill in the past you will begin to with the September billing cycle.
  • The installation of the “customer connection” which is the service line from your home or business to the public sanitary sewer lead at the edge of the US-23 road right of way.  Please see the enclosed permit application and checklist. After completion of the application and payment of the $25.00 fee and inspection fee of $150.00, you can plan for the work with the excavator or septic service contractor of your choice. Payment to the contractor(s) for this work is your responsibility. Once the service is ready to be connected, your contractor must book an appointment with the AuSable Township DPW at least 24 hours in advance. The DPW staff must be on-site for the connection to the sewer lead.
  • Pursuant to environmental health regulation 3.43: Any septic tank which is no longer in use shall be emptied by a licensed septage hauler and filled with clean, compacted soil and/or aggregate. Abandoned or collapsed septic tanks can pose a public safety threat. For questions regarding this requirement, please call District Health Department #2 at 989-362-6183.

For property owners with newer (installed since January 1, 2010) functioning septic systems, it is possible in certain circumstances to defer connection to the new sewer extension and continue to use your septic system if the $19.73 debt repayment fee is paid monthly, and certain other conditions are met. If you would like more information about this deferment, please contact our DPW department: 989-739-1838.

Vacant lot owners have the option of assuming the monthly debt repayment fee to minimize up front, out of pocket costs related to future connection. More information is available about this option upon request.

In summary, we believe it is in your best interest, the environment, and the community to connect to public sanitary sewer. Connecting to public sewer provides long-term economic benefit to your private home investment. Septic systems are known to be polluting Michigan’s lakes, streams, and groundwater.

Based on the criteria stated earlier in this letter, if you are connecting to the new sewer line, the deadline for hookup on your property is: March 13, 2024.

Please call if you have questions or need further information from AuSable Township. 




April 28, 2022

Progress is currently being made on our new sewer infrastructure. Photos of Lake Street Lift station replacement, photo credit Robert Decker.

 March 24, 2022

   With weather improving we will soon be seeing crews back on the US 23 Sewer project. As you are aware, this project has been divided into three phases of completion. Those effected in phase one are within the following addresses  4221 N US 23 - 4011 N US 23 and were notified in a letter dated January 2022 that the infrastructure is now ready for those residents to plan with their contractors to hook into the system. The timeline for completion of phase one residences is 270 days, which would be September 28, 2022. Also included, a sewer permit must be completed by your contractor and returned with the required fee of $25.00  for the sewer application and inspection fee of $150.00 upon completion of their work on your property.

Please note that a list of contractors supplied in this section, at the bottom of the Sewer Extension tab for your convenience. Just a reminder that AuSable Township is not endorsing those listed contractors.

At this point the timeline will look as such for phase one residents:

  • Contractor paperwork returned to AuSable Township and $25.00 sewer permit fee and inspection fee of $150.00 paid.
  • Application for sewer will be completed in our office with your assistance or contractor to be sure all pertinent information is on file.
  • With 24-hour notice, we will schedule a day and time that the AuSable Department of Public works will meet with your contractor to inspect the connection to our infrastructure.

Once the inspection has taken place and has been approved by the AuSable Township Department of Public works staff, our office will then take the below steps:

  • The township billing area will make sure that the following line items are added to your next billing cycle. Sewer ready to serve charge, commodity charge. You will then see these on your next normal billing cycle.




AuSable Township Residents:

Due to multiple questions from residents, we are sending the following clarification to all residents affected by the Sewer Extension Project.  Under certain circumstances some properties will be able to defer connection to the system to a future date.

Parcels of real property that include structures from which sanitary sewage currently originates, and which are currently being served by an approved and fully functional septic system (including a septic tank, a drain field, and all necessary accessories) that was installed and approved by the District Health Department after January 1, 2010, will not be required to connect the structures in which sanitary sewage originates to the Township’s available public sanitary sewer system, as long as all the following requirements are satisfied:

 •A municipal sewer lead will be installed, and the owner will be required to pay the debt reduction fee (DRF) from the date the sewer system is available for service at their property.

 •The owner of the structure must, following the publication of Notice of Availability above, promptly provide the Township with proof satisfactory to the Township proving the installation and approval dates of the septic system, and establishing that the septic system meets all applicable local, state, federal, and District Health Department ordinances, statutes, rules, regulations, and requirements; and, every 3 years thereafter, the owner must submit to the Township certification from the District Health Department approving the continued use of the septic system. It is the owner’s responsibility to timely schedule and pay the applicable fee for the District Health Department inspections.

 •The septic system must remain unchanged; it may not be upgraded, improved, or repaired; it must continue to be eligible for District Health Department approval in its “as built” condition; and, once the septic system is unable to properly serve the structure in its as built condition, the owner of the structure will be required to promptly connect the structure to the Township’s available public sanitary sewer system.

•In no case shall a private septic system remain in service beyond 15 years of its original installation date where the public sewer system is available.

Please call if you have questions or need further information from AuSable Township.




Elmers has the underground bore for the 6” directional of 3894’ done, the 6” short laterals were 1,860 linear ft., 23” PVC main has 3,232’ done, and 10 manhole structures in place. The main pipe is at the address of 3598 N. US 23 and the lateral bore was at 3595 N. US 23. The concrete company was a “no show” on Friday, which may delay their work until Spring.



There are directional drills under US 23 of 3,134 ft. in, 12” sewer main itself at 1,734 linear ft, short laterals are at 1,136 ft in, manhole structures are now at 7, and the First Phase has had restoration and hydroseeding on that section.



The sewer new line has begun just past Lakeside and it’s completed south to Johnson Rd. This consists of 12-inch sewer main, which is 1,678 ft, also laterals going to the west side of US 23 (1,895 ft.) and east side (1,089 ft.) and includes 6 manhole structures. There is still work to do on the manholes and eventually the installation of cameras with the inspection of the sewer main. If everything is satisfactory, the first section will be able to start hook-ups. This section is gravity fed and is connected to a existing line which then continues to the sewer treatment facility.





If you are not a full time resident and are part of the sewer extension project, please call Debbie at 739-9169 to provide a good contact phone number where you can be reached for any questions.

If you are a contractor looking for information regarding the sewer extension project, please call Cal Taylor at 820-5754

As of today’s date, they have put over 950 ft. of sewer line in, 2 manholes, and 13 services (8 short lateral on lake side and 5 long directional on west side of US 23).  This phase will continue to Johnson Road which has been a bit slow because of the dewatering.  A few homes do not have city water, therefore they will need to have a meter install or a flat rate charged to them.


PROJECT UPDATE August 10, 2021
The installation of the sewer line began on Monday August 9, 2021. Moving south from approximately 4270 N US 23 to Johnson Road.  This should be completed in approximately 3 weeks. 

Once that portion is completed they will move to the location of the new lift station located by the condo's and head north to Johnson Road. That phase should take approximately 3 weeks. 

From there they will go back by the Condo's and begin moving south. 

We will continue to update this page as information is made available.

If you have any questions regarding timelines for hooking up, disconnecting from your septic or similiar, please refer to Ordinance 120

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Township Hall. 989-739-9169



The contractors bidding on the project have been telling us that due to equipment components delays, the time frame to get a new electrical panel built from submittal to field delivery is almost 6 months. In order to receive competitive bids we may extend the completion date to June 2022 for final site restoration and March 2022 for the US 23 Extension work.

 Estimated time schedule based upon material and equipment delays would be as follows:

  • Bid Opening                                                              April 27,2021
  • Township Award                                                        Monday May 3,2021
  • USDA Loan Closing                                                   June 7,2021                                   (Normally takes 30 days after bid opening)
  • Sign Construction Contracts                                     June 8,2021                                   (Can be done Immediately after loan Closing)
  • Pre Construction Meeting                                         June 8,2021                                   (Can be done Immediately after loan Closing)
  • Contractor Submittal Period                                     June 10 -July 1,2021                     (Long Lead Items get reviewed first)
  • Contractor Delivery of MH Structures                       Mid to late July 2021                  
  • Contractor Delivery of PS Structures                        Mid July to August 2021
  • Contractor Delivery of Pumps and panels                November to December 2021
  • Gravity Sewer Installation                                         Mid August to January 2022
  • Sewer lateral Installation                                           Mid October to January 2022
  • PS Mechanical work                                                 November 2021 to March 2022 (Can’t complete work until delivery of materials)
  • Site Restoration                                                        May- June 2022


Project Timeline as of 3-24-21:    

The original timeline for this project was starting in January and completing in July. Due to a number of delays, this timeline has had to change and adjust. We are now anticipating a completion date in September.  The project is being completed in a southernly direction. As phases are completed, property owners will be notified that they can contact their contractors to complete the hook up.

A list of excavators and plumbers obtained from permits submitted to the County over the last two years is available at the bottom of this page.



The cost of the project is covered by 75% Grant in the amount of $4,767,000.00, 25% Bond in the amount of $1,589,000.00 and at this time we have consistently communicated that bond amount breaks down to an estimate of $25 per hook up, per month for the duration of the loan (40 years). 

After reviewing the numbers, which do not include hookups beyond the required 200 feet from the right of way and the vacant lots, the $25 monthly debt retirement fee that we have been communicating is higher than what we will be actually charging. It is a worst-case scenario figure, even with escalating construction costs.

As stated previously, if the project goes extremely over budget during the bid process, AuSable Township Board of Trustees still has the ability to stop the project.  However, this was factored into the numbers that we have been communicating and will not likely be the case.

The debt reduction fee begins once the lead is installed at your property and you are notified. 

The debt reduction fee will not fluctuate for the duration of the USDA loan.


Project Scope:

Within the project, there are 40 vacant parcels, 22 residences more than 200 feet from the right of way and 178 within the mandatory 200 feet from the right of way.   

Staff has been communicating with the vacant parcel owners and the residences beyond 200 feet to ensure that all who want a lead will have one installed.  If these property owners want the lead installed, they are committing to the debt reduction fee.  All new hookups and leads are committing.


AuSable Township Residents

On Monday August 3, 2020, AuSable Township received an offer from the USDA for a 75% grant / 25% loan at 1.125% interest for the sewer extension project extending from the 4200’s on US 23 south to approximately 3008 US 23.  This letter is intended to help answer any questions or concerns you may have. 

Which side of the road will this be placed?
The sewer extension will be placed in the right of way on the east side of US 23.  The limits of the right of way can be measured 100 feet from the center line of US 23 each way. The municipal sewer will serve both east and west sides of US 23.

When will the construction begin?
Construction is tentatively planned to start in January 2021 and completed in July 2021.

What about the bike path?
The Iron Belle Trail project is still in the works. There are delays due to Covid-19 and we do not have a new timeline yet.

What about the sewer lagoon project?
The lagoon preliminary engineering report has been completed; however, we separated the two projects to ensure that those landowners in desperate need of sewer could receive it as quickly as possible.  We will continue to investigate the feasibility of the lagoon project to stabilize sewer treatment costs for AuSable Township residents.

Will I have to connect to the sewer extension and when?
Per state law, if your residence is within 200 feet from the edge of the right of way, you must connect to the sewer.

Au Sable Township Ordinance Section II (d) states:

  • “In order to fully protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of the people of the Township, connection of all structures in which sanitary sewage originates to the Townships available public sanitary sewer system be and is hereby required.  Said connections shall be made within Ninety (90) days after (l) the publication of a notice by the Township of the availability of the system in a newspaper of general circulation within the township”

What do I do about my septic tank?
District Health Department No.2 has provided the following information.

Any sewage disposal system which is no longer in use and has been replaced by a connection to a municipal sewer, or a successor sewage disposal system, shall be abandoned in a manner so as to prevent a nuisance or hazard to public health.

  1. Septic Tanks

Any septic tank which is no longer in use shall be emptied by a licensed septage hauler and filled with clean compacted soil and/or aggregate.

(2)         Soil Absorption System Removal

When soil absorption system material is removed, the material shall be placed in an area that is at least fifty (50) feet from surface water, fifty (50) feet from all private wells, and seventy-five (75) feet from all Type II or III Public Water Supply wells.  The material shall be covered with at least six (6) inches of clean soil within twenty-four (24) hours. Any stone, drainpipe, blocks, or similar materials shall not be exposed to the ground surface.  The soil absorption system material shall not be placed within eighteen (18) inches of the seasonal high-water table.

(3)         Transport of Soil Absorption System Materials

When soil absorption system materials are removed from a premise, precautions shall be taken to prevent liquids and other materials from being released from the transport vehicle.

How will we connect to the new sewer system?
Property owners will need to hire a contractor to connect from the sewer lead at edge of the right of way to the building. That contractor will work in conjunction with AuSable Township DPW to ensure that installation is correct. You can contact the Oscoda AuSable Chamber of Commerce for a list of qualified contractors. Their number is 989-739-7322 

Will there be a Special Assessment?
There is no special assessment for this project. However, there will be a monthly sewer debt fee that will be included with each billing to the customers along US 23 for this project. This fee will pay for the township’s loan portion of the project.   

How much will the sewer debt fee be?
Estimates right now are $24.00 a month. The final amount will be determined once the project is complete.

What other sewer use fees will be charged?
A monthly fee for the Township’s operations and maintenance costs and the treatment (gallonage) cost that AuSable currently pays to Oscoda Township. This cost will be based upon the Townships sewer use ordinance.

We hope that this communication helps answer your questions.  If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to call the superintendent at 739-9169 or email at superintendent@ausabletownship.net .


District Health Department 2 Letter of Support can be seen here



The Single-Family Housing 504 Direct Home Repair Program provides loans to very-low-income homeowners to repair improve, or modernize their homes and or provides grants to elderly very-low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards.   Click HERE to download PDF

502 Direct Singe Family Housing Mortage Loan
The Single-Family Housing 502 Direct Loan Program assists low and very low-income applicants obtain decent, safe, and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant's repayment ability.  Click HERE to download PDF


AuSable Township does not endorse any contractors

Click here for a list of Excavation Contractors

Click here for a list of Plumbing Contractors