The Great Lakes News Collaborative asked state and national experts how Michigan could break the cycle of underfunding and poor decision-making that has left water systems across Michigan in sorry shape.
Bridge Michigan reporter Kelly House and Circle of Blue reporter Brett Walton moderated a Zoom discussion for Bridge readers with three experts about the state and region’s decrepit water infrastructure.
Michigan is set to receive the federal infrastructure funds over the next five years, significantly boosting its lending capacity. The funds allow more communities to reinvest in essential public works without saddling residents with all the costs.
Data compiled by the Institute for Public Utilities at Michigan State University shows that water prices are climbing quickly — more quickly, until recent price spikes, than most other goods and services.
Septic systems are common around Elk Lake and many other lake communities. If they’re maintained, they usually manage to keep bacteria and viruses in check. But failing systems can allow contaminated water to seep into nearby bodies of water.