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Multimillion plan proposed to upgrade Howell’s water system

Nearly $9 million in improvements are being proposed for the City of Howell to upgrade its water system.

A proposed Project Plan was posted on the city’s website and was based substantially on a Water System Master Plan Update and Reliability Study that was prepared in 2020 by Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Inc.

Among the issues noted in that report were components within the existing distribution system being undersized and having reached their useful design life, while over 200 leads were determined to be made of lead and/or likely to contain lead and must be replaced. In addition, a portion of water main at the water treatment plant has reached its useful design life and needs replacement to ensure system reliability.

The report also noted water main improvements along Lucy Road would improve system reliability and performance by creating a looped system from Lucy Road to D-19, to allow for future developments throughout the vacant land area just north of I-96.

Among the recommendations are to replace approximately 800 feet of old, undersized 4-inch diameter water main with 8-inch diameter water main along Warbler Way from Fowler Street to Meadow Lark Lane as well as approximately 1,300 feet along Brooks Street from Gregory Street to Isbell Street to improve the system reliability, water quality, and address safety concerns. It also calls for the complete removal and replacement of known lead and galvanized water services throughout the city and installation of approximately 6,000 feet of 12-inch diameter water main along Lucy Road from the train tracks south of Grand River, to just north of I-96, as well as west to the future development north of I-96, to create a looped system from Lucy Road to D-19. It would also replace approximately 400 feet of old 12-inch diameter water main at the city’s Water Treatment Plant from the storage tank to Pinckney Road.

The plan calls for implementation over five years to minimize disruption to the community with an estimated project cost of $8,850,000, which includes construction costs, plus 10% construction contingency costs, plus 30% administration, engineering, bonding, and legal costs.

The proposal recommends the city apply for a low-interest loan under the state’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Program for all eligible project costs.

The 4 and 6-inch mains with suspected lead and galvanized service have been in use since the 1950s. While water test results to date do not show signs of problems with lead, “the City would like to be proactive and remove the last known remaining lead components from the water system. This has led to water system reliability uncertainties, water quality concerns, and safety concerns.”

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