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Michigan getting more than $200 million in new federal funding for water infrastructure

A top Biden Administration official says Michigan is getting $212 million in new federal funding for infrastructure and clean drinking water projects.

The money will fund lead pipe replacements, upgrading wastewater treatment and protecting water systems from per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination.

Former News Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is the White House Infrastructure Coordinator.

“This is a critical piece of infrastructure to deliver on the president’s promise to make sure that clean water is on every house in America,” Landrieu told a small crowd gathered at Saginaw’s water plant.

While in Saginaw Friday, Landrieu also announced the city would receive $15 million for a new water tower.

City Manager Tim Morales says the water tower is needed to insure water service would not be interrupted in case of emergency. He says Saginaw’s water system serves roughly 173,000 residents (in Saginaw, Bay and Tuscola counties). But Morales says the city’s water plant is nearly 100 years old, and the system has no elevated storage facility to maintain water pressure.

“If power goes out to the water plant, our staff has 2 to 5 minutes to start emergency backup generators,” said Morales. “If the system pressure drops (to 20 PSI or less)...then it’s a serious health and safety concern.”

As mayor of New Orleans from 2010 to 2018, Landrieu says he understands the need for reliable drinking water systems.

“I know about making sure that you have towers that have water in them when your engines go out and can’t pump the water,” said Landrieu. “And when that happens the water’s not safe for people to drink. So this is a critical piece of infrastructure.”

The $212 million coms from the recently enacted Infrastructure Law. It is the second installment of five yearly installments to Michigan for water infrastructure.

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