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EGLE announces $11.9 million in MI Clean Water grants to help Michigan communities upgrade water infrastructure, protect health, environment

Water main replacements in Scottville, stormwater rehabilitation in Pontiac, and resources to identify lead service lines in several communities are among more than $11.9 million in state grants recently awarded to Michigan cities, villages, and townships to protect public health and Michigan’s water resources.

The MI Clean Water Plan grants through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), 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 storm water 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.

“As we invest in local water infrastructure projects, we’re not just upgrading pipes and pumps; we’re revitalizing communities, ensuring access to clean water, and reducing costs for residents,” said Paul McDonald, EGLE Finance Division director. “Thanks to recent support from federal and state government, communities have access to unprecedented funding opportunities to help them address deferred maintenance on their water systems. While our investments may not fully meet the staggering needs seen by our communities, each dollar is a meaningful step forward. My team at EGLE takes pride in our work to safeguard residents by supporting our cities, towns, and villages with grants and financing tools for these critical projects."


Grant roundup

Recent grants through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF):

  • Oakland County, Joachim Drain Drainage District for $415,000:  The Joachim Drain Drainage District is a stormwater system located in the City of Pontiac. This project involves rehabilitation of approximately 1,446 linear feet of five existing storm sewer pipes, including joint repairs and grouting, as well as rehabilitation of the existing drain outfall structure.

Recent grants through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF): 

  • City of Scottville for $8,696,400: This project includes watermain replacements for undersized and aging existing watermain, approximately 160 service line material investigations, approximately 75 lead service line replacements, and a fence will be added around the perimeter of the water tank and mixer. Watermain loops are proposed from Fifth Street to Elm Street and from Second Street to Bean Road. A deteriorated 20-inch section of watermain along State Street from approximately 1,000 feet east of the city limit to Bean Road will also be replaced. Undersized watermains (4-inch and 6-inch) will be replaced with 8-inch watermains at various locations.

Affordability and Planning Grants:

These grants provide funding to assist communities in planning and affording water infrastructure needs statewide.

  • Village of Marion: $338,000
  • Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (Clinton, Ingham, Eaton): $750,000

Technical, Managerial, and Financial grants:

Additionally, four water systems received grants for work in identifying or verifying lead service lines in preparation for replacement. The process to accomplish this effort includes hydrovacing on either side of each curb stop and performing in-building investigation to document service line materials. This project includes applicable restoration to original condition of hydrovaced locations. Hydrovacing involves a piece of equipment using high-pressure water to cut and liquefy the soil, while simultaneously using a high-volume vacuum to remove the soil from the excavation.

The recipients and their respective amounts:

  • Lyon Charter Township: $181,600
  • City of New Buffalo: $600,000
  • City of Saline: $600,000
  • City of Milan: $269,311


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 storm water 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 water or groundwater. Awarded this fiscal year: $8,000,000.

Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities Grant Program: Provides states and territories with grants to public water systems in small or disadvantaged communities to address emerging contaminants, including PFAS.

 Technical, Managerial, and Financial Grants: Funds for work related to the physical verification of service lines at properties where lead is suspected but not confirmed or where service line material is unknown but likely contains lead.

 Affordability and Planning Grants: These grants are designed to assist communities in planning and affording water infrastructure improvements including lead service line replacements.


Additional Background

Since January 2019 the State of Michigan has invested over $4 billion to upgrade drinking water, storm water, 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.