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City of Ishpeming shares plans for MI Clean Water grant

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 4:39 PM EDT
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ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) - The city of Ishpeming is now planning its use of more than $600,000 to better ensure clean and reliable drinking water.

This comes after 15 Michigan communities were awarded money from the MI Clean Water Plan last Thursday. Ishpeming City Manager Craig Cugini estimated that 600 total water lines need to be replaced.

“We don’t know that for sure that’s what this program will help us validate, but we are seeking $15 million to replace 600 lines so it is a costly investment,” said Cugini.

The money Ishpeming received under the MI Clean Water Plan will not go towards the replacement of the lines. Rather, it will be used to assess the city’s need by taking random samples of 20% of total water infrastructure using photo logs.

“The way the water system works is the city owns the largest pipe, which is the water main. And for every home, there is a lateral connection that delivers the water from the main to the house,” said Cugini.

Testing includes an analysis of four segments from the main water system to a house in order to determine if there is an introduction of lead or copper from the line itself. Cugini said the project will not affect residents.

“You may not even know it’s happening around town, it won’t be a project that is causing us to dig or tear up a road. It’s pretty limited in scope as far as impact to the residents,” said Cugini.

This will also be an opportunity for the city to better locate water lines.

“We’re going to have a GIS Assessment of the location of all our water lines as we do this project to help improve our water maps,” said Cugini.

Cugini said the project will begin in June and continue through the summer or until its completion. The final product would be a distribution system material inventory report which the city can send back to the state.

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