Crew leader Devin Farthing and laborer Dylan Lines excavate a site on Woodmont Street in Roseville Nov. 3 to verify the type of service line that is at the home. First, they dug a hole at the service line and used a giant vacuum to suck the dirt from the hole around the service line. A water sprayer was used to get the dirt off the line. They then recorded what type of line it was. The service line at this location was copper.

Crew leader Devin Farthing and laborer Dylan Lines excavate a site on Woodmont Street in Roseville Nov. 3 to verify the type of service line that is at the home. First, they dug a hole at the service line and used a giant vacuum to suck the dirt from the hole around the service line. A water sprayer was used to get the dirt off the line. They then recorded what type of line it was. The service line at this location was copper.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Roseville receives Michigan Clean Water grant

By: Maria Allard | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 10, 2021

 Laborer Dylan Lines and crew leader Devin Farthing, on Woodmont Street in Roseville, take photos of the copper service line they found during the excavation process Nov. 3.

Laborer Dylan Lines and crew leader Devin Farthing, on Woodmont Street in Roseville, take photos of the copper service line they found during the excavation process Nov. 3.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Advertisement

ROSEVILLE — Roseville officials are taking another step toward ensuring the city’s tap water is safe and clean for its residents.

On Oct. 12, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer awarded more than $14 million in grants under the Michigan Clean Water plan to help 28 cities, villages and townships statewide — including Roseville — with their water systems.

Roseville received a $569,543 Drinking Water Asset Management grant. The grants, issued through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, or EGLE, support work including replacing lead service lines, enhancing water affordability plans, and connecting homes that use contaminated drinking water wells to safe community water supplies.

Roseville, which has an old water system, applied for the grant. The grant money will be used to identify any lead in the city’s water lines. The water lines are anywhere from 50 to 100 feet in length with a diameter of 3/4 of an inch or 1 inch.

The city’s Water and Sewer Division is conducting the excavation work, which has already begun. The ground will be excavated so crews can verify the type of water lines that are underground: lead, copper or plastic. If lead pipes are found, they will have to be replaced with copper or plastic but not with funds from the DWAM grant. The city will most likely apply for another grant, should lead pipes have to be replaced. The DWAM grant is just for the excavation work.

Roseville receives its water from the Great Lakes Water Authority. Drinking water is free of lead until it is in contact with lead-containing materials, such as lead service lines. The grant money will cover the costs of the equipment that will be used for the project, as well as the labor costs.

“All they need to do is look down and see what’s there,” said City Engineer Scott Lockwood, who is also the executive vice president of Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick Inc., based in Shelby Township. “They’ll take a look at water service lines and document what kind … lead, copper or plastic.

“With a lot of older water systems that are pre-1960, you have water mains in your street. Every house or commercial building has their own service that goes out to a water main,” Lockwood said. “Off that water main, there’s a service line that goes up to the house. Any water you use comes through that line. Down in the basement, there’s a meter through the wall or it comes up through the floor. That line or part of that line could be lead. The lead pipes will have to be replaced with plastic or copper pipes.”

City employees will need a bit of help from the public during the excavation project. There are 377 residences and businesses in the city where crews must come inside to check their water meters.

“They have to go inside the house to determine the type of pipe that comes into the house,” Lockwood said.

Crews need to see meters in the homes. Department of Public Services Assistant Director Brian Schulte said the process will take five minutes, and the technicians all wear masks to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

“We go to where the meter is, take pictures, we note what material it is and we are on our way,” Schulte said.

Employees are contacting residents either by telephone or by leaving a notice at the house to let them know they need to enter their home. The appointments are done between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., but exceptions can be made if those hours aren’t convenient.

It will probably take more than a year to complete the project. Crews will have to cease working on the excavation when the weather gets too cold.

Advertisement