Welcome to Ferndale's

Public Works

Department of Public Works

Ferndale’s Department of Public Works (DPW) is a full-service team responsible for keeping our streets clean, snow plowed, parks well maintained, sewers and drains functioning, and much more. They also oversee the City’s curbside refuse and recycling pickup.  

Learn about Public Works and water

The Department of Public Works handles Ferndale's water resources. Visit our utilities services for more information.

Have a street light outage to report?

Street lights are actually maintained by DTE, not the City. Report an outage quickly and easily through DTE's online Street Light Problem form. Outages or issues with the shorter decorative light poles throughout the downtown district can be reported directly to DPW.

CONTACT

Department of Public Works

Ferndale City Hall
300 E. Nine Mile Rd.
Ferndale, MI 48220

(248) 546-2525 (Option #3)

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DEPARTMENT Members

FAQS

Can I repair my own sidewalk?

After the hearing, homeowners can choose to replace the sidewalk on their own, or have it replaced by the Contractor performing the City’s Sidewalk Replacement Program.  For further questions, contact the Department of Public Works at 248-546-2519.

Can residents dispose of broken concrete?

Broken concrete, clean and free of wire, (no bricks or cinder blocks) can be taken to the City Yard, 521 East Cambourne, Monday through Thursday, from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Do you have resources for yard waste collection and preparation?

SOCRRA—Southeast Oakland County's Resource Recovery Authority—has information about what can be collected (Waste Wizard), how to prepare materials, seasons for pickup, and more.

Do you offer bag pickup if I don't want to rake my leaves to the curb?

We sure do. Leaves and other yard debris can be bagged in brown kraft recycling bags or canisters with clearly-marked recycling labels (available from the DPW office). Pickup happens weekly on your regular trash day between roughly April 1 and December 12. To recycle yard waste in between pickup seasons, please bring your bagged debris to   SOCRRA Recycling Center, located at 995 Coolidge Hwy in Troy. 

Does the City pick up bulk items from the curbside?

Yes. Bulk items shall not be placed at the curb for pickup prior to 4:00 p.m. the day before your collection day. Bulk items include appliances such as washers, dryers, hot water tanks, air conditions, refrigerators, and furniture. Doors to bulk items shall be removed before taken to the curb for pickup.  

Does the City use anticoagulants?

In October of 2020, City Council signed a resolution against the use anticoagulant rodenticides as part of maintenance programs for City-owned parks and facilities and recognized that the use of anticoagulant pesticides are harmful to our community environment. The City’s DPW discourages the use of anticoagulants and serve as a model in promoting alternative means of pest control on public property. The full resolution can be found here.

How Can I Compost?

As an alternative to bagging and curbside pickup, many residents enjoy the natural benefits of composting. Check out tips for effective composting to get started.

How are homeowners billed for the sidewalk replacement?

The final homeowner assessments of sidewalk construction will be mailed after all construction is completed.  After the City Council approves the final assessment, it will be billed on the homeowner’s winter tax.  

How can I check if I have a running toilet?

The City provides dye tablets to put into your toilet tank free of charge.  If after 30 minutes any color seeps into the toilet bowl, then the toilet is running.  

A running toilet can double, triple a bill!

How do I bundle branches properly for curbside pickup?

Branches four inches or less in diameter should be cut into lengths between 4'-12'.

How do I bundle brush clippings for curbside pickup?

Brush less than an inch in diameter, tree branches, branches with needles or thorns, shrubs, vines, or hedge brush cut into 4' lengths and tied in bundles.

How do I dispose of hazardous waste?

Paints, garden chemicals, automotive products, antifreeze, household cleaners, solvents, insulin syringes, and other hazardous household materials may be accepted by appointment only.  

If you are a resident and need these hazardous materials removed, contact SOCRRA's Special Household Waste Hotline for a collection appointment at 248-288-5153.

How do I keep my pipes from freezing?

Pipes can freeze due to sudden drop in temperature, poor insulation, or thermostats set too low. Both plastic and copper pipes can burst, and recovering from frozen pipes is not as simple as calling a plumber. According to AAA, a 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the potential for mold.

If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house. Leave the water faucets turned on. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it.

Here are some tips to protect your pipes ahead of time:

  • Seal leaks around pipes that allow cold air inside. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes; use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out.
  • Disconnect garden hoses. If possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in pipes just inside the house.
  • If a deep freeze is expected, let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall. Just a trickle may keep your pipes from freezing.
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you're asleep, but further drops in temperature—more common overnight—could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks and to appliances near exterior walls.

How do I prepare logs for curbside pickup?

Logs are more than four inches in diameter and should be cut into 2' lengths no more than 50 pounds per log. Prepared logs can be placed at the curb for collection on your regular trash collection day.  

How do I take part in curbside leaf pickup?

Our Department of Public Works (DPW) services all Ferndale residences. Simply rake your leaves to the curb by 7:00 a.m. on the Monday of your scheduled week's pickup and DPW will be by before the end of the week to vacuum them. 

I put my garbage in really strong plastic bags, is that good enough?

Garbage that is not in an approved garbage can is an invitation to vermin and other wildlife to come eat.  Since we are working very hard to limit the rodent population in Ferndale, it is best to place your garbage in a plastic or galvanized metal container with a tight fitting lid no larger than 26 gallons. 

Is it okay to include sticks, rocks, and other yard debris in my leaf piles?

No. The City's leaf pickup trucks are not able to process sticks, branches, stones, and other such debris. Including these items in your leaf piles harms our machinery and creates a slower leaf pickup process for all. Please do us all a favor and keep your leaf piles pure. 

Sticks, branches, and other similar yard debris can be placed out for yard waste recycling on your regular trash day. Make sure they're placed in brown paper recycling bags or canisters with clearly marked recycling stickers (available at the DPW office). 

Safety Tips & Helpful Reminders

  • It is illegal to “reserve” cleared parking spaces—objects left in street parking areas/spaces will be removed.
  • Think safety: clear fire hydrants and street drains when removing snow on your driveway.
  • When digging out your car, think about how you pile snow—don’t create new problems in streets or on sidewalks. 
  • Keep your children and pets safe from plows—never allow them to play on or around roadside snow piles.
  • We understand the frustration when plows deposit snow around cars and at the bottom of driveways. Please remember that it’s not personal! The plow is designed to push snow, which makes it an unavoidable situation. 

Snow Emergency Handicapped Parking

Residents with state-issued handicap placards are exempt from snow emergency parking mandates and may park their vehicles on public streets during declared emergencies.

Snow Emergency Parking

When a snow emergency is declared, residents must immediately move vehicles from public streets. Failure to move vehicles may result in citations or towing.

During snow emergencies, the City provides designated snow emergency parking areas in each quadrant of the City:

  • West Breckenridge Parking Lot—Located just west of Woodward Ave. behind Treat Dreams/Citizens Bank
  • East Breckenridge Parking Lot—Located just east of Woodward Ave. behind The Fly Trap
  • Kulick Community Center—Located at 1201 Livernois Ave.
  • Martin Rd. Park lot
  • Harding Park Lot—Located on Mapledale Ave. at Wolcott St.
  • The dot Level 2—Located at 221 W Troy St.

Parking in these lots is free during all snow emergencies, and beginning at 6:00 p.m. for overnight snow emergencies. 

Snow Emergency Parking Exemptions

If you are a City of Ferndale resident and you do not have a driveway*, you may be eligible for a snow emergency parking permit. This permit exempts residents from having to move their vehicles during a snow emergency.

Residential snow emergency parking permits are issued annually. There is a limit of two permits per household. Permit holders must park their vehicles at least 20 feet from the street corner, and as close to the curb as possible.

Snow emergency parking permit applications can be completed at the Ferndale Police Department, located at 310 E. Nine Mile. Applications must be verified, including a visual property inspection to make sure you qualify; please allow up to 48 hours for your application and permits to be processed.

*Driveway is as defined in 16-11 of the City’s Code of Ordinances: A paved passageway of a particular width primarily used by motor vehicles, over private property, extending from an alley, roadway, street, or highway to a lot or parcel of property to provide ingress and egress primarily for the occupants of the property.

What Constitutes a Snow Emergency?

A snow emergency is called when a weather event results in rapid or extreme accumulation of ice and/or snow. In a snow emergency, all vehicles must be moved from public streets to allow Department of Public Works (DPW) crews to remove snow/ice and clear roadways. Previously, snow emergencies were declared only in the case of snowfalls greater than four inches. The new policy (updated October 2015) states that snow emergencies will be declared by the City’s DPW Director when need arises, regardless of snowfall amounts. 

What holidays does the City not collect garbage and recycling?

  • New Year's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

If your collection day falls on one of these holidays, please set your garbage containers at the curb the following day. This also includes the remainder of the days of that week following the holiday.

What part of the water system is the City's responsibility?

The City is responsible for the stop box at the street and the water meter inside the home or business.  The curb stop box refers to the enclosure which houses the actual valve that provides water service to residences and businesses on the adjacent street. 

What part of the water system is the Property owner's responsibility?

The property is responsible for maintenance on any pipe leading from the stop into the property as well as any piping inside the structure.

What should I do if my water pressure seems low?

If your water pressure seems low, contact the DPW Water Department at 248-546-2514 to see if work is being performed in your area.

You may also contact Water Department Billing at 248-546-2374 to see if your service has been impacted or discontinued due to non payment.

What type of garbage is not collected?

  • Radioactive materials--call the Oakland County Health office at 248-424-7093.
  • Hazardous materials like volatile cleaning fluids, chemicals, acids, caustics, drugs, explosives, poisons, and batteries; call SOCRRA at 248-288-5153.
  • Roofing--call a local transfer station
  • Vehicles engines or transmissions. Call a local salvage yard.
  • Construction or building materials
  • Dirt and rocks--call a local transfer station.
  • Auto tires

When do sidewalk replacements occur?

After the hearing, homeowners can choose to replace the sidewalk on their own, or have it replaced by the Contractor performing the City’s Sidewalk Replacement Program.  

When is curbside leaf pickup?

The City of Ferndale's curbside leaf pickup runs annually from roughly the third week of October through the beginning of December. Dates vary by year; this year's dates and other important information is published on the page above. 

Where can I dispose of used motor oil and vehicle batteries?

Take motor oil and vehicle batteries to the Ferndale City Yard, located at 521 E. Cambourne,  Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Please contact the Yard at 248-546-2519 before delivering.

Used motor oil from cars, trucks, lawn mowers, etc., should be transported in a tightly sealed plastic gallon jug. Reuse the empty plastic jug, if possible, or dispose of it in the dumpster next to the oil receptacle. Do not mix used oil with gasoline or any other fuel!

Wet cell batteries from cars, trucks, boats, etc., should be transported in a secure box.

Where must I store garbage and recycling containers in between pick up days?

Garbage and recycling containers should be stored in the rear of the house between collection periods.  Containers should be neat, sealed with lids, and located where they will not offend neighbors.

Who should I call when I need my leaves picked up?

No need to call! With our new pickup schedule, DPW will service every street in Ferndale four times per season, between mid-October and the beginning of December. Rake your leaves out the weekend before your area's scheduled pickup and we'll be by before the end of the week. If you miss a week, no worries—just wait until the weekend before your next scheduled week. 

The new pre-scheduled pickup service provides better, more organized coverage for all, which means we will no longer be able to handle on-demand calls/pickups. We appreciate you raking in accordance with our new schedule!

Who will make the sidewalk repairs?

After inspections have been completed, the Sidewalk Replacement Program is publicly bid, and a Public Hearing for necessity of repairs is scheduled. Notification letters are mailed to affected homeowners with the time, date and location of the Public Hearing. The letters also include an estimated quantity and cost of the sidewalk to be replaced.

Will the City pickup tree stumps at the curb?

Yes. Tree stumps must be free of roots and soil and should weight no more than 50 pounds each.

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