Case Study - Springwells Water Treatment Plant

Customer Challenge

The Springwells Water Treatment Facility in Dearborn, MI is one of the oldest and largest water treatment facilities in the country, and the tenth largest water treatment facility in the world.  Springwells pumps more than 540 million gallons of water daily to millions of people in the Detroit Metropolitan area.  Having opened in 1935 and undergone a major expansion in the late 1950’s, the plant was in dire need of extensive deferred maintenance and upgrades to both the water processing systems and buildings that house them.  Central to the project was improvement in heating and cooling systems, particularly cooling systems required to reduce the humidity that threatened the plant’s electronic control equipment.  Great care was required in the modification of water processing systems in order to prevent cross-contamination.

FM Sylvan Solution

FM Sylvan played a prominent role in overhauling the facility’s ductile pipes and filtration systems, replacing valves and pumps, and addressing the heating, cooling, and air exchange needs.  In addition to taking great care to avoid damaging existing systems, FM Sylvan had to work within twelve our windows to replace valves in order to ensure that no contamination occurred.  In addition to mobilizing local labor to perform the intricate work to the highest quality standards required for ensuring safe drinking water, FM Sylvan’s design/build team helped drive risk out of the project with engineering expertise and Building Information Modeling support.


The project was completed on-time, and within budget, without disrupting the flow of water to the community.  The successful coordination of trades, focus on exacting plumbing and pipefitting quality,  and value added engineering ensured successful delivery in the face of short time windows and complexity.  The end result is a modern, highly reliable treatment facility that will serve the Detroit Metro area for years to come.