In early 1889, local residents created the Wyandotte municipal water utility to provide fire protection and have a convenient safe source of drinking water. Today, the municipal water utility serves over 12,000 consumers, has annual revenues of $3.653 million, and sold 1.628 billion gallons of water in 2011. The water department contributes over $200,000 to the City of Wyandotte’s general fund.
Wyandotte is the only downriver community that owns and operates a potable water filtration plant. The Wyandotte municipal water plant can produce up to 15 million gallons of water per day. The community's water source is the Detroit River and the treatment process consists of:
- Screen or remove debris
- Add alum for coagulation of suspended particles
- Add chlorine for disinfection
- Add phosphate for stabilization
- Remove all suspended particles through filtration
- Add fluoride to prevent tooth decay
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) require the annual production of a Water Quality Assurance Report to show how our water is continually kept in compliance and an excellent source of fresh water for our residents.
Our water distribution system consists of 110 miles of water mains ranging from 4 inches to 30 inches in diameter. Fire protection is provided by 850 fire hydrants located throughout the community. The municipal water system has a 500,000 gallon elevated storage tank (water tower) and 4.5 million gallons of ground level storage for peak demand periods such as fighting fires or other emergencies.
The Wyandotte Electric Light Company was incorporated on September 19, 1889, for the purpose of manufacturing and supplying electricity for light, heat and power. On the twenty-fifth day of the same month, it obtained a municipal franchise from the City of Wyandotte, Michigan.
In 1892, local residents voted to create a community owned municipal electric utility, which initially provided only street lighting. In 1896, the municipal electric utility began serving retail consumers and for a number of years the municipal electric utility and the Wyandotte Electric Light Company competed locally for consumers.
Today, Wyandotte's municipal electric utility is one of 41 public power systems in Michigan, and one of nearly 2,000 public power systems in the United States. It serves over 12,000 consumers, has $22.2 million in annual revenues, and sold 282 million kilowatt-hours in 2010. Peak electric demands range from 65,000 to 70,000 kilowatts (65 to 70 megawatts).
Our municipal electric system has three sources of supply to provide reliable, affordable service: the 70-megawatt municipal power plant, a 28-megawatt interconnection with 40,000-volt transmission system, and a 98-megawatt interconnection with 120,000-volt transmission system.
Wyandotte’s 72 megawatt power plant is located at 2555 Van Alstyne and sits on the Detroit River. It consists of three boilers and four generators. Fuels include coal, natural gas and tire-derived fuel (TDF). TDF has a higher Btu or heating value than coal, is half the price of coal and produces similar emissions. About 26,000 tons of TDF (the equivalent of 2.5 million scrap tires) were consumed at the Wyandotte municipal power plant in 2010. In addition to supplying over 90% of all the electricity need of the residences and businesses in Wyandotte, the municipal power plant also supplies 100% of all the steam needs of BASF and Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital.
Our electric distribution system consists of 12.5 miles of 69,000-volt transmission lines and 75.3 miles of 13,200-volt and 4,800-volt distribution lines. The municipal electric utility also installs, maintains and provides electricity for streetlights throughout the community without additional charge.
Wyandotte having its own distribution gives our residents a great advantage when power outages occur. The time to bring our power back online is considerably less than in neighboring communities served by other public power utilities.
Cable - Internet - Phone
The Wyandotte municipal telecommunications utility was created by local residents in 1981. Voters demonstrated their confidence in the municipal's operating ability by approving an ordinance to place the implementation, construction and operation of the new cable television system under the auspices of Wyandotte Municipal Services (WMS). In 1983, WMS installed the cable infrastructure throughout the city and began offering basic cable television services. Since 1983 the limited basic cable television system has developed into a full broadband provider offering a wide selection of cable television services from digital to HD to video-on-demand programming and a variety of other telecommunications services.
Today the telecommunication utility serves over 8,200 cable television consumers, 5800 high-speed internet and 1,200 digital phone subscribers with annual revenues over $10 million. Wyandotte Municipal Services telecommunications system offers significantly lower rates than other area providers, competitive programming selections, several internet packages, state of the art technology and outstanding customer service.
The telecommunications department contributes over the $418,000 to City of Wyandotte’s general fund and completely supports a cable studio where public access, local access and government programming is produced.
In 1998 the municipal telecommunications system was completely rebuilt and consists of a hybrid combination of fiber-optic lines and coaxial cable. A new headend was built during the same period with state of the art equipment and the bandwidth was expanded to 750 Mhz allowing for digital HD and VOD cable service offerings.
In 2001, the municipal telecommunications utility began offering high-speed internet service to local residents and commercial accounts. The municipal telecommunications utility offers local consumers expanded basic, digital and HD channels, commercial free CD-quality music channels, multiplexing of the premium channels such as HBO, Showtime, The Movie channel, Starz and Encore. The telecommunications utility offers High Definition Television services including High Definition set top boxes with or without a DVR.
The telecommunications system also offers the latest digital telephone technology to all residents of the city via an internet connection. With Wyandotte Digital Phone’s Unlimited Plan, one low rate will give you access to all the popular telephone features for less then what traditional carriers charge.
A Brief History of the City of Wyandotte
From the early 1700s the Downriver area was inhabited by French farmers and Wyandott Native Americans. The French had established a fort at Detroit to extend their fur trade empire, and the Wyandott Native Americans had joined them at their new outpost. The fort proved successful and the French settlers had been granted tracts of land for farms. These early farms extended along the Detroit River into land that became known as Ecorse Township.
The village of Maquaqua was truly the beginning of our present community. That small site became the nucleus of the City of Wyandotte, Michigan. Historians tell us that the Wyandots built their village in 1732. The original village extended from approximately Oak Street to Eureka Avenue, and from Biddle Avenue to the Detroit River.
Read the rest of 'A Brief History' and learn more about our wonderful community and its rich history by following this link to the Wyandotte Museums website.
The Wyandotte Museums, established in 1977 as part of the Department of Recreation, Leisure, and Culture for the City of Wyandotte, seeks to promote an awareness and appreciation of the history of our city and the surrounding area.
Please visit the City of Wyandotte and the Wyandotte Museums for more information.