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.
Dorr and Leighton Township Boards both 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 their respective Service Districts.
The cooperative partnership for wastewater management between Dorr and Leighton Townships in Allegan County began from a follow up odor complaint investigation initiated 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. 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 made 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 the Green Lake area in the Township. 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 that a long term financing, administration, and management strategy was needed 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 1978.
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.