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Michigan NewsMichigan gives almost $18 million to seven communities to ensure access to...

Michigan gives almost $18 million to seven communities to ensure access to clean drinking water for residents

Michigan – About 70% of people in Michigan use public wastewater systems, and an equal number depend on public systems for their drinking water, state authorities say.

Drinking water and storm-water systems in some places need immediate improvement

However, many of these areas face difficulties in upgrading their old drinking water and storm-water systems. They also might not be ready to tackle new problems, such as meeting the requirements for handling harmful chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, often referred to as “forever chemicals.”

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This year, Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the state’s Democratic lawmakers, and federal agencies are joining forces to solve this issue. Their main strategy is to boost the budget for water infrastructure improvements. This includes enhancing wastewater management and replacing old lead pipes.

“Every community deserves reliable water infrastructure that meets their needs,” Whitmer said in a statement.  “Let’s work together to rebuild our water infrastructure, supporting good-paying jobs and revitalizing communities along the way, so anyone can make it in Michigan.”

Several Michigan communities received $18 million

This week, nearly $18 million in grants were given out as part of Governor Whitmer’s MI Clean Water Plan. This funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, signed by President Joe Biden.

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State officials mentioned that these grants are a portion of over $4 billion invested by Michigan since 2019 to improve drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater facilities across the state. This includes almost $600 million allocated for water infrastructure in the most recent state budget.

Some of the chosen projects for funding this month are:

  • Eastpointe received $10 million to change 1,100 lead water lines.
  • Chesterfield Township got $5 million for the next part of its sewer fix-up. This includes a technique to reinforce pipes from the inside to stop groundwater from seeping in and to make the sewer last about 50 years longer.
  • The Village of Eau Claire was awarded $1.87 million to better its wastewater systems.
  • The Lake Mitchell Sewer Authority got $849,000 to improve its wastewater collection, which includes fixing pump stations and repairing broken pipes.