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Michigan's aging water systems

Rainwater Infiltration into Sewer Line
(Courtesy of the East Bay Municipal Utility District)
Rainwater Infiltration into Sewer Line

A coalition of union and environmental groups says it’s time for the federal government to invest more money in the nation’s aging water and sewer lines.    

The group points to the city of Lansing as an example. TheLaborers’ International Union of North Americasays it would cost more than $280 million to fully repair and replace the capitol city’s aging water lines. It  estimates the cost statewide would be in the tens of billions of dollars. 

The union’s Ben Lyons says water systems everywhere are failing.  

 "The infrastructure…a lot of it…is over 50, 60 years old,"  Lyons says, "And when we get infrastructure that old…I don’t care what its made out of…its going to fail.”    

The coalition says the solution is for Congress to pass several job bills, including the American Jobs Act.    Congressional Republicans oppose the president’s various jobs bills. They are pushing legislation to loosen regulations, which they say will generate employment growth.   


Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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