Jun 15, 2020

Michigan City Finalizes Lead Water Line Replacement Plan

Allegan, Michigan’s plan to replace water service lines made of lead has been submitted to the state

lead in water

Allegan, Michigan’s plan to replace water service lines made of lead has been submitted to the state.

City council members voted Jun. 8, 2020 at their regular meeting to approve the 20-year plan.

According to water utilities director Doug Sweeris, the plan describes how the lead water service lines will be identified, how many there are, and how many will be replaced. 

The plan calls for approximately $150,000 annually to fund the work and an average of 65 to 75 service lines to homes, businesses and other structures will be replaced each year, reported Allegan News. The plan went to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy for approval. 

Since the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act was expanded in 2018, there are new requirements for communities throughout the state to prepare preliminary inventories of lead service lines and to provide detailed inventories by Jan. 1, 2025. It also requires each municipality to replace an average of 5% of all of its lead service lines annually for 20 years.

According to Sweeris, major road projects were driving the first rounds of replacements. No replacements are scheduled until the four road projects beginning in 2022, reported Allegan News. The city will also replace lines immediately as they break.

The city projects it will need to set aside approximately $212,000 annually for at least the first few years to cover the costs. The money will come from permanent water and sewer rate increases, which will result in the average household seeing a monthly increase of $5.50 to $7.50, reported Allegan News. The increases also cover the asset management plan for the city’s water infrastructure helping to replace portions of the system as they break down.

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