Program will address lead line replacement
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – The City Council authorized Hennessey Engineering to prepare a project plan to replace 600 lead and galvanized water service lines from 2022 through 2024 along five routes.
The drinking water project will replace the water service lines from the main to 18 inches inside the affected building. The project will consist of three water main replacements and one water main looping project, which has been submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental, Great Lakes and Energy.
The program will be funded through Michigan’s Drinking Water Revolving Fund Loan Program.
The DWRF loan is a 20-year, low-interest loan, which will be administered through the city’s Capital Improvement Plan.
EGLE lead and copper rules, which were amended and adopted in June 2018, require lead and galvanized water service lines to be replaced in their entirety from the water main to at least 18 inches inside the house, regardless of ownership.
In Melvindale, the $7.5 million project will replace approximately 1,500 service lines, at an average cost of $5,000 per line. The unfunded mandate will cost communities statewide an estimated $2.5 billion.
However, communities may apply for loan forgiveness through the Disadvantaged Community Lead Service Line Replacement program.
In addition, Drinking Water Infrastructure Grants are available, which may cover up to 30 percent of the replacement cost.
The Melvindale lead service line locations include: Robert Street, from Oakwood Boulevard to Greenfield Road; Henry Street, from Oakwood Boulevard to Greenfield Road; Wall Street, from the railroad tracks to Clarence Street; Flora Street, from Oakwood Boulevard to Rose Street; and Downing Street, from Dix Road to Rialto Street.
The water main locations include Robert and Henry streets, from Oakwood Boulevard to Greenfield Road, and Oakwood Boulevard, from Allen Road to Elizabeth Street.
The water main looping location runs along Coleman Street, from Ruth to Reed streets.
The project is designed to reduce the number of water main breaks in the city, which in turn will reduce water loss and create a more reliable water distribution system.
It also will reduce the lead materials in the city’s water distribution system, bringing it into compliance with the state’s lead and copper rules.
Construction will cause short-term inconveniences, with noise, temporary lane and driveway closures, temporary loss of water service and limited private property access being the short-term disadvantages.