Michigan received loans and grants for water infrastructure

ALGER, HOUGHTON COUNTIES — Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced a historic commitment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to upgrade and rebuild rural water infrastructure.

Michigan received $29,914,000 in loans and grants for five communities two of which are located in the Upper Peninsula. The USDA is providing the funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.

This grant can be used to finance drinking water, storm water drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents. The City of Munising, in Alger County, is receiving a $4.65 million loan to improve the city’s water system. Sections of the water main under State Route M-28 are more than 100 years old.

Munising has four wells for water supply and three ground storage tanks with 600,000 gallons of storage and a 200,000-gallon elevated storage tank that serves the industrial park.  The City of Houghton, in Houghton County, will receive a total of $2.25 million in loans and $1.5 million in grants for improvements to the water and sewer systems which date to the early 1900s.

The water system has exceeded its useful life and is plagued with multiple leaks, recurring maintenance issues and is in violation of the Michigan Safe Drinking Act. The sewer system is comprised mainly of clay and other types of pipe, depending on when improvements were done. The old structures and deteriorating clay and truss pipes continue to cause high maintenance costs and allow infiltration and inflow of groundwater.

These issues will now be getting the improvements needed to meet Michigan standards.