Aging infrastructure chronic issue in Mid-Michigan - WNEM TV 5

Aging infrastructure chronic issue in Mid-Michigan

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

Flint’s aging infrastructure isn’t a unique problem in Mid-Michigan.

Bob Dion is in charge of water distribution in Bay City. He's quick to tell us the water infrastructure here is old, with some pipes dating back to the late 1800's.

"There is nothing wrong with our water. Our water is extremely high quality," Dion said.

Some residents have complained about high water rates in the city. Dion said that money goes toward maintaining and improving the water lines and the water quality.

"That charge goes for infrastructure. We are taking that and putting that into our account and saving that to be able to rebuild our old infrastructure," Dion said.

The city’s water services consist of 90 percent copper flair and its lead counterpart makes up the other 10 percent.

City leaders said they’re actively working to reduce the use of lead.

"We talk to the DEQ about lead all the time. That is not something that has ever rested. That is a very important thing," Dion said.

Dion also heads the lead abandonment program. Of 15,000 service lines, 2,500 of them are lead. There are also lead packed joints that are on the city's radar.

Dion said it's been five years since the DEQ had to warn his department about high lead levels. Telling us his staff is working hard to keep those lead levels low.

Dion believes the future for his city's water is bright. A result of a switch to a new filtration plant.

"I am very excited to go to this new standard of plant and the quality of water. I am very excited about this. I think our customers are very excited about this," Dion said.

This year, Bay City has $2 million in its water budget, with three-quarters of it earmarked for infrastructure.

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