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EGLE announces $65.9 million in MI Clean Water grants to help Michigan communities upgrade water infrastructure, protect health and the environment

A new water well and water main upgrades in Beaverton, lead service line replacements in several towns, and stormwater management improvements in Oakland County are the goals of more than $65 million in state grants recently awarded to Michigan communities.

The MI Clean Water Plan grants through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and support from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) aim to help communities upgrade aging infrastructure, ensure healthy drinking water, and protect Michigan’s environment.

Seventy percent of Michiganders are served by more than 1,000 community wastewater systems and a similar percentage get drinking water from community water systems. Those systems often struggle to find resources to address legacy issues like aging drinking water and stormwater facilities and emerging challenges like new standards for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) “forever chemicals.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Legislature, and federal agencies have ramped up funding for aging water infrastructure – a critical move to help ensure those water systems continue to protect public health and the environment, including Michigan’s unmatched freshwater resources.

More than half of EGLE’s budget has traditionally passed through to Michigan cities, towns, villages, and other local government agencies to finance critical improvements that help them better protect residents and our natural resources.

Grant roundup

Recent grants through the DWSRF: 

  • Village of Baldwin for $3,560,000. This project involves watermain replacement, lead service line replacement, well house improvements, and upgrades to an elevated water storage tank. Watermain replacement will occur along Norway Street and First Street in Baldwin. Along those routes, any lead service lines that are encountered will be replaced. An additional approximately 60 lead service lines will be replaced throughout Baldwin’s distribution system.
  • City of Beaverton for $10,300,000. This project includes replacement of old undersized watermains, and new watermains at Pearson Avenue, Porter Street, Brown Street to Pearson Street, Tonkin Street, 2nd Street, M18/Ross Street, Terry Diane Street, and from the water tower to Terry Diane Street. This project also includes installation of a new source well, a new elevated storage tank with mixing equipment, and updating the city’s SCADA – supervisory control and data acquisition – system. A new backup generator and new water meters will also be installed.
  • City of Melvindale for $9,225,000. This project includes the replacement of old, undersized, and failing watermains as well as lead service line replacements. Melvindale will replace approximately 6,150 linear feet of existing watermains in areas where watermains are aging and failing. Watermains will be upsized via pipe bursting in the following project areas: 1) Allen Road between Outer Drive and Greenfield Road (upsizing 8’ main to 12’ main and replacing 16’ main with new 16’ main), and 2) Flora Street between Oakwood Boulevard and Rose Street (upsizing 6’ main to 8’ main). An estimated 160 lead service line replacements are planned as concurrent with the watermain replacement projects, with approximately 90 along Allen Road and approximately 70 along Flora Street. Approximately 250 additional lead service lines will be replaced throughout the city.
  • City of Lincoln Park for $18,985,000. This project involves watermain and lead service line replacements. An estimated 27,000 linear feet of aging watermains will be replaced along segments of 16 roadways: 1) Cleophus Parkway, 2) Philomene Boulevard, 3) Garfield Avenue, 4) McLain Avenue, 5) Lincoln Avenue, 6) Cleveland Avenue, 7) Mill Street, 8) Rose Avenue, 9) Mark Avenue, 10) Progress Avenue, 11) Detroit Avenue, 12) Mayflower Avenue, 13) Capitol Avenue, 14) Champaign Road, 15) Lafayette Boulevard, and 16) Fort Park Boulevard. Along these routes, an estimated 297 lead and 703 non-lead service lines will also be replaced. Additionally, an estimated 433 lead service lines will be replaced throughout Lincoln Park’s distribution system. In total, an estimated 730 lead service lines will be replaced.
  • Detroit Water and Sewerage Department for $16,550,000. This project includes replacing and rehabilitating approximately 30,877 linear feet of vintage cast iron water main of pipe size 6-inches through 12-inches in diameter in the city. Neighborhoods included in this project are Midtown, Cultural Center, Medical Center, and Barton-McFarland. Approximately 458 lead service lines will also be replaced as a part of the project.

Recent grants through the CWSRF: 

  • Oakland County, Joseph Jones Drain District, for $810,000: Historically, water carrying nonpoint source pollution has been pumped into the local storm drain system. This project will construct stormwater wetlands in Perry Park, located in the City of Pontiac and managed by Oakland County, to reduce nonpoint source pollution from entering the storm drain system. The new, roughly 35,300 sq. ft., wetland will manage surface drainage from approximately nine acres of land surface area. This project will improve water quality by facilitating infiltration of runoff and vegetative treatment.
  • Oakland County, Augusta Drain Drainage District, for $920,000: The Augusta Drain Drainage District is a storm water system located in the City of Pontiac. This project includes rehabilitation of the existing drop fall structure and adjacent junction chamber, rehabilitation of existing storm sewer pipes and manholes (including spot lining and grouting), and installation of a riparian buffer strip within North Kiwanis Park (also known as Stanley Park).

Earmarks through Federal American Rescue Plan Act: 

  • City of Manchester for $300,000. This project involves replacing approximately 55 lead service lines in the City of Manchester. 
  • City of Wayne for $4,900,000. This project will involve the removal and replacement of approximately 400 lead service lines in the City of Wayne. 
  • City of Gibraltar for $400,000. This project will involve the removal and replacement of approximately 30 lead service lines in the City of Gibraltar.

Descriptions of funding sources

  • Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: Low-interest loan program to help public water systems finance the costs of replacement and repair of drinking water infrastructure to protect public health and achieve or maintain compliance with federal Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. The DWSRF provides loans to water systems for eligible infrastructure projects. As water systems repay their loans, the repayments and interest flow back into the DWSRF to support new loans. ARPA funding operates as a grant and may be used in combination with loan dollars to reduce the financial burden on communities to pay for capital improvement debt.
    • ARPA funded grants awarded this fiscal year: $218,398,719.
  • Clean Water State Revolving Fund: Used by local municipalities to finance construction of water pollution control projects. These projects include wastewater treatment plant upgrades and expansions, combined or sanitary sewer overflow abatement, new sewers designed to reduce existing sources of pollution, and other publicly owned wastewater treatment efforts that improve water quality. The CWSRF can also finance stormwater infrastructure projects to reduce nonpoint sources of water pollution caused by things like agricultural runoff to lakes, streams, and wetlands. As with the DWSRF, ARPA funds can be used in conjunction with CWSRF loan dollars, thereby reducing the debt communities pay for infrastructure improvements.
    • ARPA-funded grants awarded this fiscal year: $137,982,009.
  • Drinking Water Asset Management Program: Provides grant funding to assist drinking water suppliers with asset management plan development and updates, and/or distribution system materials inventories as defined in Michigan’s revised Lead and Copper Rule.
    • Awarded this fiscal year: $19,695,817.
  • Consolidation and Contamination Risk Reduction Program: Established to aid drinking water systems to help remove or reduce PFAS or other contaminants.
    • Awarded this fiscal year: $20,336,215.
  • Substantial Public Health Risk Project Program: Protects public and environmental health by removing direct and continuous discharges of wastewater from surface or groundwater.
    • Awarded this fiscal year: $8,000,000.

Additional Background

  • Since January 2019 the State of Michigan has invested over $4 billion to upgrade drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater facilities across the state, supporting over 57,000 jobs.
  • In 2022, Governor Whitmer signed a package of bills to help communities access funding for water infrastructure.

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