EGLE Office of the Clean Water Public Advocate launches water leak pilot

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 18, 2021
EGLE Media Office, EGLE-Assist@Michigan.gov, 517-284-9278 

Drinking water conservation effort to be launched in Benton Harbor and Highland Park

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced today that its Office of the Clean Water Public Advocate has launched a new initiative to reduce water waste in communities throughout Michigan. Called the Water Leak Pilot, the new program highlights the benefits of reducing water waste for consumers, water suppliers and the overall community.

Approximately 100 Benton Harbor residents and 100 Highland Park residents will be the first in the state to benefit from the new initiative and receive free in-home plumbing repairs.

“In communities with older homes and aging water infrastructure, water leaks are very common,” said Ninah Sasy, EGLE’s Clean Water Public Advocate. “I’m happy to work with local partners to offer this free plumbing repair program to residents in Benton Harbor and Highland Park.”

Water leaks can significantly increase consumer water bills and contribute to water quality concerns. They can also increase the energy consumption of municipal water suppliers thus having an impact on climate change. The Water Leak Pilot will aim to increase community awareness across the state through education, household water audits and tips on saving energy.

The Benton Harbor pilot is part of the Office of the Clean Water Public Advocate’s Focus on Water Initiative that brings together multi-sector partners to support community efforts and connect resources to address water concerns.

Grant funding was awarded to the following Benton Harbor community partners for the pilot effort:

  • The Benton Harbor Community Water Council was awarded funding to help recruit residents to participate in the Pilot
  • The Building Excellence in Science and Technology non-profit was awarded funding to work with students and schools to develop Public Service Announcements
  • The City of Benton Harbor was awarded funding to hire two part-time students to coordinate the Pilot in Benton Harbor

Grant funding was awarded to the following Highland Park community partners for the pilot effort:

  • The Highland Park Human Rights Coalition and the People’s Water Board were awarded funding to help recruit residents to participate in the Pilot
  • Metro Consulting Associates was awarded funding to coordinate the Pilot in Highland Park

Residents in the City of Benton Harbor and Highland Park interested in participating in the Water Leak Pilot should visit Michigan.gov/WaterLeakPilot. For more information about the Office of the Clean Water Public Advocate visit Michigan.gov/CleanWater.

All Michigan communities are invited to partner with the Office during Fix-a-Leak Week to promote the importance of addressing water leaks. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/FixaLeakWeek.

Additional resources will be available to Michigan communities through the Office of the Clean Water Public Advocate in support of Gov. Whitmer’s MI Clean Water Plan to invest $500 million in federal dollars, state bonding authority, and existing state revenues to create a comprehensive, statewide water infrastructure program.

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