Wastewater system upgrades in Upper Peninsula communities, lead service line replacements in Melvindale and improvements to Mt. Pleasant’s wastewater plant are among $45 million in Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) grants recently awarded to Michigan communities.
The MI Clean Water Plan grants, through EGLE’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), and Substantial Public Health Risk Project Program (SPHRP) aim to help communities upgrade aging infrastructure to 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.
Recent grants through the DWSRF:
- City of Melvindale for $4,377,800. The project includes replacement of approximately 9,400 linear feet of water main and 56 lead service lines and the installation of 2,500 linear feet of water main for looping along Dix Road, Dora Street, Greenfield Road, and Wall Street.
- City of Sandusky for $2,548,783. The project consists of replacing the 1.25 miles of water main located under M-46 and will include the replacement of associated hydrants, gate valves and boxes, ductile iron tees, and the removal and replacement of City of Sandusky-owned copper water services on the public side of the water main. The work also includes an estimated 18 full lead service line replacements along the water main replacement route.
Recent grants through the CWSRF:
- City of Owosso for $1,412,500. Phase 1 of the wastewater treatment plant improvements project includes equalization basin installation, intermediate clarifier updates, replacement of existing pressure filters with disc filters, and elimination of the chlorine disinfection system and installation of an ultraviolet disinfection system.
- City of Mount Pleasant for $9,000,000. The project is phase 2 at the City of Mount Pleasant Water Resource Recovery Facility. Improvements associated with this phase of work include demolition of the existing primary clarification drives and sludge collector mechanisms, repairs and recoating of the primary clarifier structures which will be used as water level correction tanks, removing the rotating biological contractors and replacing them with an Aerobic Granular Sludge system, decommissioning the oxidation towers, replacing secondary influent pumps, and expansion of the secondary influent pump station to house new aeration blowers, piping and controls.
- Village of Newberry for $512,500. The project consists of rehabilitation of sanitary sewer pipe (approximately 10,000 linear feet) using cured-in-place-pipe lining and removal of intruding taps throughout the Village of Newberry. The project also includes acquisition of a 40-acre property for biosolids land application.
- Gogebic-Iron Wastewater Authority for $20,000,000. The Gogebic-Iron Wastewater Authority wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) project includes improvements to the headworks and electrical systems, primary treatment components, oxidation ditch processes, final treatment mechanisms, chemical building components, sludge handling processes, and equipment associated with digester processes. The WWTP will also be upgrading to a class A biosystems treatment process.
- West Iron County Sewer Authority for $3,162,500. This project includes upgrades to an ultraviolet disinfection system, replacement of influent pumping equipment with dry pit submersible pumps and variable frequency drives, replacement of all rotating biological contractor equipment, and upgrades to the supervisory control and data acquisition system at the West Iron County Sewer Authority Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Recent grants through SPHRP:
- Section 32 Sewer Authority for $2,000,000. The Section 32 Sewer Authority owns and operates a wastewater collection system and an aerated lagoon treatment system in Wakefield Township. The lagoons are aging and impacting Jackson Creek. Several homes in the area are on individual failing septic systems and requesting to connect to the Section 32 collection system, however the lagoons would require major modifications to accept this wastewater. This project involves redirecting wastewater flows from the failing lagoon system to the base of the Black River Basin Ski Hill which will be conveyed to the Bessemer Area Sewer Authority (BASA) Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). Additionally, the failing Section 32 lagoon system will be properly abandoned. The Section 32 project is in conjunction with the BASA project to extend the force main of BASA WWTP to the base of the Black River Basin Ski Hill. Wastewater flows from both communities will be directed to BASA WWTP for full treatment.
- Bessemer Area Sewer Authority for $2,000,000. The Black River Basin Ski Hill in Bessemer Township includes resort buildings on septic systems and seven condominium buildings sharing a communal septic system. The septic systems and drain fields are failing and impacting Jackson Creek. The condominiums are currently pumping and hauling to offsite treatment. This project involves extending the force main of Bessemer Area Sewer Authority (BASA) Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) to the Black River Basin community and abandoning the current septic systems. This project is in conjunction with the Section 32 Sewer Authority project to redirect flow from their failing lagoon treatment system to the base of the Black River Basin Ski Hill. Wastewater flows from both communities will be directed to BASA WWTP for full treatment.
Descriptions of funding sources
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF): 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. American Rescue Plan Act (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 (CWSRF): 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.
- Since January 2019 the State 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.
Source : Michigan Courts