Lansing, MI - Water main work in Southeast Michigan, sewage disposal improvements in Pontiac, and wastewater system upgrades in the Village of Prescott are among almost $31 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 ensure clean drinking water and manage wastewater to protect public health and Michigan’s natural resources.
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:
- Great Lakes Water Authority for $16,057,500. This project for the Great Lakes Water Authority addresses phase 2 of their 96-inch water transmission main relocation project (Dequindre Road) and consists of construction of approximately 7,985 linear feet of welded steel pipe and replacement of three culverts off Dequindre Road in the City of Rochester Hills and Shelby Township.
Recent grants through the CWSRF:
- City of Pontiac for $12,750,000. This project involves improvements to the City of Pontiac’s Sewage Disposal System (SDS) to address aging and failing wastewater infrastructure. The Pontiac SDS is under a consent judgment with the State to reduce wet weather flows and/or build a sewage retention basin. The project will address structural deficiencies in the sanitary sewerage system by rehabilitating sewer segments and manholes throughout the city.
Recent grants through the SPHRP:
- Village of Prescott for $1,994,800. This project includes critical upgrades to the wastewater treatment system, including new influent screening equipment, process tank and sludge tank improvements, clarifier and blower upgrades, ultraviolet disinfection improvements, septage receiving improvements, and biosolids thickening improvements.
Description 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. 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: 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 (DWAM) 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 (C2R2) Program: Established to provide assistance to drinking water systems to remove or reduce PFAS or other contaminants. Awarded this fiscal year: $20,336,215.
Substantial Public Health Risk Project (SPHRP) 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.