Escanaba gets $20 million MI Clean Water grant

ESCANABA — Lead service line removals in Escanaba are among more than $23 million in state grants recently awarded to Michigan communities to protect public health and Michigan’s water resources.

Escanaba received $20,000,000 – This project includes watermain replacement, lead service line replacement, and water tank upgrades in the City of Escanaba. In addition to facility upgrades to the South Water Tank and associated watermain work in the tank area, watermain replacement will take place in twelve distinct areas throughout the City of Escanaba, with a total watermain replacement of approximately 7,625 lineal feet, including replacement of inoperable valves and hydrants. The project will replace aging watermain and improve water flows and reliability throughout the system. An estimated 135 full lead service line replacements will take place along these new watermains in addition to approximately 605 lead service lines throughout the city.

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

“The common theme of these grants is helping ensure healthy drinking water and safeguarding our Great Lakes and streams,” said Phil Roos, EGLE director. “This funding will help communities accelerate critical projects like lead service line replacements and water distribution system rehabilitations. This support is an example of how EGLE and the Whitmer Administration are working to braid state, federal, and local resources to rebuild water infrastructure across the state.”

Additionally, seven 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.

Recipients in the U.P. were::

– Village of Calumet, $247,000

– City of Houghton, $250,000

– Crystal Falls Township, $200,785-


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