in funding from the State of Michigan to aid in the removal and replacement of
drinking water lead service lines throughout the City.
The City received this funding from the Michigan Department of Environment,
Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
Through this supplemental funding, EGLE has awarded more than $102 million in
principal forgiveness loans to disadvantaged communities who were undertaking lead service line removal projects. The City of Saginaw was one of 37 communities
throughout the state that was awarded funding where the amount will be given to the municipality in the form of a loan where the principal amount is forgiven.
Since 2019, the City of Saginaw has implemented a program to replace all lead
service lines throughout the City’s drinking water system. This was in response to
newly enacted laws from the State of Michigan that enhanced drinking water
requirements and mandated the removal and replacement of lead service lines in all municipalities.
To pay for the removal and replacement of the lead service lines in Saginaw, a flat rate fee was added to customer’s monthly water bills. Since that time, the City has pursued funding sources to help pay for any portion of the lead service line replacements and lessen some of the financial burden placed on citizens.
In October of 2020, when the state announced funds would be available through the Michigan Clean Water Plan, the City of Saginaw immediately began the application process to obtain funding as a disadvantaged community. In June of 2021, City Council approved the plan for this project. The preliminary funding report was published by EGLE in August and the final report announcing the allocation of funds to the City was published last month.
Paul Reinsch, Director of Water and Waste Water Treatment, commented on the award, “It’s rewarding that our efforts have paid off and we will receive this money. We understand the importance of clean safe drinking water for public heath, and we want to maximize the benefit our community receives from these funds.”
The City has been working with Spicer Group to design and plan the continued removal and replacement of lead service lines. This additional $4.5 million in funding will replace an estimated 1,000 lead service lines, with the projects taking place over the next three years.
This funding will not only help lessen the additional fees that appear on customer’s bills, but also shorten the amount of time it takes to replace the lead service lines within the City’s system.
Saginaw Mayor Brenda F. Moore commented on the significance of the funding, “I appreciate the ongoing partnership with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to ensure our citizens have access to clean, safe drinking water. This highlights the commitment of our Water Treatment Staff to protect public health and improve the quality of life in Saginaw. The funding from the Michigan Clean Water Plan will help move the City of Saginaw forward and lay the groundwork for growth and resiliency for generations to come."
For more information on City of Saginaw’s Water Treatment Services, visit our website or contact the Water Treatment Department at (989) 759-1640.