Food Processor Retains LEI for Wastewater Engineering and Management Services

A West Michigan based food processor has contracted LEI to engineer and construct two lined basins for management of process wastewater.  The basins will provide proper storage of process wastewater for treatment prior to eventual land application pursuant to applicable regulatory guidelines. 

LEI will monitor the ongoing operation of this system to ensure optimal performance and protection of the environment.  Eventual land application of the process wastewater will result in the recharge of groundwater, a precious Michigan resource. 

This project is another example of how LEI has developed a sustainable solution to a business challenge, which will also result in long-term monetary savings to our client.

LEED Development Planning

Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. (LEI) was contracted to determine the feasibility of converting an existing sand mine into a LEED residential and commercial development utilizing sustainable concepts.  Conceptual planning involved a review of zoning documents, an evaluation of potential environmental concerns, and a renewable energy use assessment.  Based on the findings from the conceptual planning, recommendations were made identifying three alternative land-use plans, which incorporated wind, solar and geothermal energy applications, LEED residential and commercial structures, native landscaping, previous surface features, and sustainable sewer and water supply systems.

Sustainable Business Growth through Water Conservation

One of Michigan’s most precious resources is our water, both on the surface and underground.  The sustainable use of groundwater resources has become a high priority for LEIs food processing and mining clientele.  Sometimes water conservation comes with a price that goes beyond the savings in water production costs: decrease water use often results in a more concentrated wastewater stream.

LEI manages several sites where water conservation measures have resulted in a savings of millions of gallons of water and assists these facilities in the sound management of a more concentrated wastewater stream.

Groundwater Age Dating and Recharge Assessment

Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. (LEI) was awarded a research grant from the National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation to conduct an assessment of groundwater age and rate of recharge using environmental tracers.  The goal of the grant project was to determine the sustainability of groundwater use at a specific Muskegon County location.

LEI installed numerous shallow and deep nested monitoring wells at a large property for the purpose of collecting groundwater samples for laboratory analysis of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-11, -12, and -113 parameters – key groundwater age indicators.  During recharge, water picks up a CFC signature based on the atmospheric concentration of CFCs, and groundwater retains its characteristic CFC concentration.    

Laboratory analytical results indicated that the groundwater age in the shallow wells ranged from 21 years to 43 years and the groundwater age for the deep wells was approximately 58 years.  The topographic and hydraulic gradients, groundwater elevation data, and laboratory data indicate that the younger, shallow water mixes with the deeper older groundwater near the point of discharge.

The results of this research could aid in creating sustainable development concepts and decrease disruption to the aquifer recharge and the natural interaction of the groundwater/surface water interface.  Based on the results of this study, LEI has been retained by two businesses to assess whether their processes involving groundwater usage is sustainable.  This interest supports the growing concern for a sustainable water supply for current and future generations.