Detroit Evening Report: State approves $65M to improve water infrastructure in several Michigan cities

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An aerial view of the Detroit River.

An aerial view of the Detroit River.

Michigan’s office of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy or EGLE approved nearly $66 million in grants to help upgrade infrastructure in several cities, including Detroit.

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

Detroit’s Water and Sewerage Department received $16.5 million to replace and update infrastructure in several neighborhoods, including Midtown, Cultural Center, Medical Center and Barton-McFarland. The project includes replacing and rehabilitating nearly 31,000 linear feet of vintage cast iron water main of pipe size 6 inches through 12 inches in diameter in the city. Approximately 458 lead service lines will also be replaced as a part of the project.

The City of Melvindale also received $9.2 million for similar work. 

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,” according to an EGLE news release.

Gov. 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 freshwater resources.

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  • Nargis Rahman
    Nargis Hakim Rahman is the Civic Reporter at 101.9 WDET. Rahman graduated from Wayne State University, where she was a part of the Journalism Institute of Media Diversity.