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Public Works Department


Hydrant Flushing

DPW1 The Water Department normally flushes all fire hydrants during the months of April and October. Please check our community calendar at this site for the exact dates. Flushing removes any stale water that may be in the system and assures that each fire hydrant is working properly. You may experience some reduced pressure and discoloration during this process. If discoloration occurs, let your water run a few minutes until it clears up. If you experience problems for a longer period of time, please call City Hall at 692-3391.

Fall Leaf Pickup

DPW2 The Public Works Department picks up leaves between the end of October and mid-November. Please check our community calendar at this site for the exact dates. Please place your leaves in the street next to the curb for pickup. The city places these leaves on a compost pile, therefore, branches, twigs and other yard waste must not be included. Brush may be placed at the curb for the monthly brush pickup or taken with other yard waste to the transfer station during regular hours at no charge. The City's policy is to remove leaves from all streets twice during the two week pickup period.

Leaves raked after the completion of our leaf pickup may be delivered to the transfer station free of charge by the homeowner during regular Transfer Station hours (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.). Leaves on Allegan Street are picked up on Mondays during the collection period. Other streets are picked up as time allows.

Snow Plowing

DPW3 Because we live in the "winter wonderland," one of our most important jobs is to keep City streets safe and passable for motorists. While weather can be very unpredictable, we try to keep streets clear in the most efficient manner possible. Overnight parking is prohibited on City streets from the first of November through the month of April so that we may plow the streets during the early morning hours. This is the safest time to plow for both our employees and motorists and allows us to have the streets clean for the higher volume of daily traffic. When you plow or shovel your driveway, please do not pile snow in the street. Piling of snow in the street becomes a hazard to motorists and snow plow drivers and equipment. In an average year the City uses 350 to 400 tons of deicing salt on the streets to keep them clear.

City ordinance requires business owners to keep their sidewalks clear at all times. After large snowfalls the City will try to clear sidewalks as time and manpower are available. Street plowing, however, must take precedence over the clearing of sidewalks.


Brush Pickup

Brush is picked up by Public Works Employees on the first Tuesday of each month. Brush is limited to limbs 4 inches in diameter or smaller. Pile brush on the curb lawn no earlier than the weekend before the next scheduled pickup.

Trash Pickup

Household trash is picked up by Public Works Employees on the first Thursday of each month. Trash is limited to two or three small bags or boxes of non garbage refuse. Please place trash on the curb lawn the night before pickup.

Items that will not be picked up include furniture, appliances, yard waste, and building materials. These materials may be taken to the City Transfer Station described below.


Curbside Recycling is available to City residents on the first Tuesday of each month. To participate, residents must pick up a recycling bin at City Hall. There is no charge for the bin. Materials accepted at the curbside include newspaper, mixed paper, corrugated cardboard cut in pieces no larger that two foot square, #1 and #2 plastic containers (discard caps), clear glass containers, kitchen metal (no paint or aerosol cans), and #6 polystyrene foam. Containers must be thoroughly rinsed and labels can remain. Place recyclables separated by type, on the curb lawn the night before your scheduled pickup.

Materials may also be recycled at the City's Transfer Station behind the Public Works Garage. Materials accepted in addition to those listed above are green and brown glass, scrap steel, aluminum, copper, cast iron, yard waste, stumps and small amounts of concrete. Large steel appliances and tires are accepted for a fee equal to our disposal costs.

If an appliance was operated with the coolant gas "Freon," a certificate of gas removal must accompany it or we must charge a nominal fee to have it removed. This is a federal law.

Transfer Station

DPW4 Non garbage refuse from city residents may be disposed of at the City Transfer Station. Hours of operation are from 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, excluding holidays. The attendant will direct you where to place the materials and will charge based upon his estimate of the total material weight. There is no charge for recyclable items as described above. The monies received are used to cover the costs of having the large containers transported and dumped at a landfill. Materials which can be taken to the Transfer Station include old furniture, carpeting, mattresses, and building materials.

Hazardous materials are not accepted at the Transfer Station. The Allegan County Resource Recovery Program has hazardous material drop-off days at the Allegan County Health Department. Please contact the Health Department at (269) 673-5411 for more information on dates, times and contacts for these collections. Hazardous materials include paints, varnishes, stains, thinners, pesticides, antifreeze, as well as some fuels and oils. The Health Department also maintains a list of local collection points for used automotive lubricants (motor oil, differential, transmission, brake and power steering fluids).

Wastewater Treatment Plant

DPW5The Otsego Wastewater Treatment Plant is a "trickling filter" process plant. The plant was originally built in 1954 and 1955 and was recently renovated and expanded in 1989 and 1990. The plant's maximum treatment capacity is 750,000 gallons of wastewater a day. Currently, the plant is treating between 300,000 and 400,000 gallons daily.

The Wastewater Treatment Department's Mission Statement is "to protect the receiving waters of the Kalamazoo River by producing a clean effluent while operating the facility in the most effective and economical manner possible."

Wastewater Superintendent Tom Dunn wishes to extend an invitation to any person or group that would like to tour the facility. Please call (269) 694-9194 to make arrangements.

Water Resources

Water is one of our most valuable resources. We need to protect our water resources, both groundwater and surface water (lakes and streams). The City of Otsego has identified its wellhead protection area for the City's well field in Brookside Park. The cooperation of both business and residents in the area is necessary to protect the groundwater supply.

The Kalamazoo River was, is, and will continue to be a valuable water resource. We can all help to protect and restore the river's natural beauty. Storm water and runoff are now the major sources of pollution to most rivers. We can reduce storm water pollution by keeping our streets, curbs and gutters free of debris. Properly disposing of hazardous household chemicals and eliminating the spilling or pouring of chemicals on our lawns, driveways and roads will reduce pollution of our water resources.