Water Department

Powell Township is proud of its water. Even before scares downstate, the water has been tested regularly and found to be in the top percentile of the state. We have even received a few awards in past years for how clean and fresh the water is in Powell Township. The water department has a large job of monitoring the wellheads, pump house, fire hydrants, and water tower. The water system was originally installed some 30 years ago and it was ten years ago that work was started to get the system updated. It was only in 2017, after a large portion of funding coming from a USDA Rural Development grant, did the water system get the much needed update. It did see changes to water fees for the Powell Township water customers and it being changed that all households are set to meter usage, but it will be better support for the water customers and for the local fire department to be better equipped to put out fires with fire hydrants having more access.

Water Requests and Change in Ownership Forms

Water Service Request

Change in Ownership or Renter Request

“Let Water Run” Notifications

During the winter months, there have been more cases of freezing spells that have needed the Water Operator and the Custodian to issue a “Let Run” Notice. This Notice is for the Powell Township Water Users in Big Bay to run water at a trickle the size of a pencil lead or needle. During these times Water Bills are adjusted for the higher usage because it prevents more expensive corrections to the water system. A “Let Water Run” notice is sent through TV6, Mining Journal, Township Boards, and website. Be on the look out for these notices. When the freezing temperatures are done and the ground isn’t still a risk of being too cold for pipes, then the Water Operator and Custodian will issue a removal of the the “Let Run” status. The ending status notice will be on the Township Boards, on township Water bills, and website.



(Revised April, 2021)

In the event of an emergency: The Water Operator, Township Custodian, Township Supervisor and Emergency Manager should be made aware of emergency conditions immediately. The Water Operator and Township Custodian shall initiate legal and practical response to the emergency, in consultation with the Township Supervisor if possible.

As of : December, 2023

            Water Operator:                    Joe Santilli            906-360-2464

            Township Custodian:            Pete TenEyck           345-9552       cell 360-9552

            Township Supervisor:           Darlene Turner       345-9467

            Emergency Manager:           Kim Bourgeois         362-7275

Boil Advisory:

In the event of pressure loss from a broken main, construction or other event, a boil water advisory shall be posted in the following locations and on the following radio and television stations:

Cram’s General Store -Lumberjack Tavern – Thunder Bay Inn – U.S. Post Office – Township Hall – Powell Township School – Bay Cliff health Camp – Perkins Park

Television Stations

WLUC – TV6             475-4161

WJMN – TV3             1-920-437-5411

WNMU – TV13          1-800-227-9668

Radio Stations

92.3 FM    WJPD      225-1313  Hotline: 1-906-225-1440

107.7 FM  WMQT     225-9100

90.1 FM    WNMU     227-2600  Hotline: 1-800-227-9668

103.3 FM  WFXD     227-8888

97.1 FM    WGLQ      228-9700

101.9 FM  WKQS     227-7777

94.1 FM    WUPK      225-1313

Other Emergencies

In the event of any situation that may cause the water source to become contaminated or cause the Water Department to seek a secondary water source, the following persons and/or agencies need to be notified and/or consulted.

State of Michigan


            Gwinn Office              1-906-346-8300


*DEQ Emergency Number 1-800-662-9278

            Michigan’s 24 hour Pollution Emergency System (PEAS) 1-800-292-4706


            Powell Twp. Fire Dept.    906-345-9400

             Powell Twp. EMS

                       Tyler Vargo, Coordinator   362-0382                                 

Water Sample Testing

After a pressure drop, pipeline break, construction, or other interruption of service, the Water Department must receive the results from two consecutive clean bacterial samples taken 24 hours apart before the system or the affected part of the system may go back on line. Water samples are sent to the DEQ Lab in Lansing. Always check the sample bottle for the holding time, especially if sending it to Lansing. Express mail may be required. During an emergency it is best to utilize the City of Marquette Lab on Lakeshore Blvd..This allows faster results, permitting the water system to go back on line sooner. It is best to call in advance and explain the situation so they will be expecting you. The people there have always been very cooperative when we have needed to utilize their facilities.

City of Marquette Lab           228-0488

D.E.Q. Lansing Lab              517-335-8184

Special Equipment in Powell Township

The Powell Township Water Department has a PRESSURE REDUCING VALVE that is stored on a shelf in the Township Custodian’s office. There are also TWO ELECTRIC WATER CHLORINATORS that are kept in a box on a shelf in the Township Garage.

Power Outages

Power outages are fairly frequent in Powell Township. When one occurs, the generator in the pump starts automatically. It must be tested periodically. The generator runs on propane. The propane storage tank should never fall below 40%, and should be filled before the onset of winter because of snow that may make it difficult to access. To order fuel, call Cram’s General Store  345-0075

            During a power outage the telephone, in the township hall, alarms will have to be deactivated . The water level in the tower must be assessed. Use the depth chart in the pump house to determine the level of water in the tank when the power outage occurred. It can also be calculated by checking the pressure gauge in the water tower (11’= empty, 91’= overflow). Each pump produces about 33,000 gallons/hour and the water tower holds 25,000 gallons.



Sewer Department

The Sewer system is an essential part of the structure work of a community, though it’s the least talked or thought about. The sewer system of Powell Township was last updated in 2009. It’s supported by flat fees from the residential customers and a metered fee from the commercial customers. The custodian and cemetery sextant has been overseeing the system and making any recommendations.  The sewer system update is going to be in the thought process of being updated by the Powell Township Board.

MISS DIG 811 Website Information

For more information or to place a dig notice, contact us by calling 811 or by going to our website @  www.missdig811.org  

Additional MISS DIG 811 Social Media Links:

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/miss-dig-811 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MISSDIG811.mich/

Twitter https://twitter.com/missdig811?lang=en

Doing Any DIY Projects?

  • Fences
  • Mailbox Posts
  • Room Additions
  • Gardens
  • Decks & Patios
  • Trees or Shrubs
  • Swing Sets
  • Signs
  • Fountains
  • Tents

Know What’s Below Before You Dig!

Even Hand digging can cause damage.  Over 25% of damage is from homeowners.

Become part of the solution!


  • Yourself
  • Your family
  • Your Community

It’s the LAW! It’s fast and it’s FREE!!!

What do you mean FREE?

When you contact MISS DIG 811, the public facility companies are notified to mark the location of their underground lines.

Public facilities are marked for FREE by facility company representatives known as Locators.  The Locators paint lines and/or place flags to mark the approximate location of underground public lines. 


  • Visit elocate.missdig811.org
  • In the e-Locate box click Start.
  • Complete the e-Locate Request.
  • Check your status before you dig @status.missdig811.org
  • Enter your ticket #. Click Inquire.

Those painted lines usually run from the main facility to the meter on your house.

Not everything gets marked when you call.  Private facility lines are NOT marked.

The unmarked private lines usually run from the house to any other building or object with service in your yard, like a garage or lamp post.  A private locator may be hired to mark them.

And often, water and sewer lines are only marked in the right-of-way not all the way to the meter on the house.

It’s the LAW?

Yes, a bill was signed by Gov. Rick Snyder and has been in effect since April 1, 2014.  Be smart and contact MISS DIG 811 before you dig. 

Why so many flags? What do they mean? Can I remove them?

Do NOT remove the flags until the work is completed or after 21 days. 

Color Key:

White – Area of Proposed Excavation

Pink –      Temporary Survey Markings

Red –       Electric

Yellow –  Gas, Oil, Steam, Propane

Orange –  Phone and Cable

Blue –      Water

Purple – Reclaimed water, irrigation

Green – Sewer

Gray –     Used to Erase Marks

5 Steps to Safe Digging

  1. Call MISS DIG 811 at 811 or go online to elocate.missdig811.org
  2. Wait for utilities to be marked
  3. Check status @ status.missdig811.org
  4. Respect the marks
  5. Dig with care