The Dorr-Leighton Wastewater Authority is the designated sewage service provider for residents
and businesses located in five (5) Service Districts established by the Dorr and Leighton
Township Boards. Districts 1, and 2 serve the Village of Moline and the industrial customers
north along Division Street. District 3 serves customers south of 144th Avenue and east of 14th
Street. Districts 4 and 5 serve customers along both sides of 144th Avenue west of 14th Street to
the Murphy Drain at the west end of Dorr. Both Township Boards formally established the
Authority under Michigan Act 233 to act on all matters related to the operation, maintenance,
replacement, and funding associated with wastewater collection and treatment in these Districts.
The cooperative partnership for wastewater management between Dorr and Leighton Townships
in Allegan County began from a follow up odor complaint investigation by State of Michigan
Water Resources Commission staff in August 1971.
On September 24, 1971, a letter was sent by the Michigan Water Resources Commission Basin
Engineer, Mr. Chester Harvey to Mr. Wayne Steeby, Leighton Township Supervisor, informing
the Township of a complaint investigation concerning odors and the possibility of raw sewage in
the Moline Drain, designated as “waters of the State”. The investigation survey report
concluded that both the Moline and Bates Drains in Leighton and Dorr Townships respectively,
contained raw sewage and improperly treated waste discharges from sewers and drains within
the unincorporated Village of Moline, which lies within both Townships as well. Dorr and
Leighton Townships were directed to “initiate and vigorously pursue a corrective program to
eliminate the raw and improperly treated…discharges”.
About this same time, the Federal government initiated the Water Pollution Control Act to assist
communities with planning, designing, constructing, and financing wastewater systems to
improve the nation’s water quality. Grants (80%) with local financial participation (20%) were
available to communities agreeing to pursue the required Steps for the Federal and State monies.
Leighton Township and Dorr Township were advised that this program might be a viable
solution to their water pollution issues in the Village of Moline.
Leighton officials opted to apply for grant monies and agreed to conduct the
study/planning/design for a wastewater system to serve the Village of Moline and Green Lake
area. Dorr Township partnered in this effort for their portion of the Village of Moline and agreed
to participate financially if Leighton officials would take the lead in the application processes. In
August 1972, both Townships began taking the steps required for securing financing to construct
a joint wastewater collection and treatment system and a year later received funding to proceed.
In September 1977, the construction project received approval from the Michigan Department of
Natural Resources Environmental Bureau and the work was initiated.
All of the hard work to bring the Dorr-Leighton Wastewater System to this point also presented
the realization for a long term financing, administration, and management strategy to conduct the
day to day functions of the System. The Dorr-Leighton Waste Water Authority (DLWA) was
established under provisions within Act 233, Public Acts of Michigan, 1955, as amended after
unanimous adoption of the required Articles of Incorporation by both Township Boards in April
Today the DLWA continues to function and serve not only the initial 240 customers in the
Village of Moline, but also other commercial, business, and residential customers approaching
the equivalent of 1400 single family homes located in the five (5) Service Districts.