Detroit Evening Report: Michigan communities receive $67M in grants to improve water infrastructure

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An aerial view of the Detroit River.

An aerial view of the Detroit River.

Several Michigan communities were recently awarded a total of $67.1 million in state grants to replace hazardous lead drinking water lines and upgrade aging infrastructure.

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The funding from the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) aims to reduce sewage overflows into Lake St. Clair, helping to protect Michigan’s environment, as well as ensure healthy drinking water by replacing outdated lead drinking water service lines.

Detroit’s Water and Sewerage Department will receive $17.5 million in funding as part of the grant program to replace and rehabilitate nearly 32,000 feet of vintage cast iron water main of pipe in Detroit’s Dexter-Linwood, Davison, and Buffalo-Charles neighborhoods. Approximately 475 lead service lines will be replaced as a part of the project.

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, according to EGLE. 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 PFAS, or “forever chemicals.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Legislature, and federal agencies have ramped up funding for aging water infrastructure in recent years – a critical move to help ensure those water systems continue to protect public health and the environment.

The state has invested over $4 billion to upgrade drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater facilities across the state since January 2019.

Other headlines for Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024:

  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held her sixth State of the State address in Lansing Wednesday night at the state Capitol.
  • Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan is hosting a Democracy & Me badge workshop with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Saturday, Jan. 27 at Newlab at Michigan Central.
  • The Detroit Lions are continuing their playoff run as they head to the NFC Championship against the San Francisco 49ers.

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  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.