Alma and St. Louis prepare for better drinking water - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Alma and St. Louis prepare for better drinking water

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ALMA (WJRT) - (05/02/14) - It's major step to better quality drinking water for two Mid-Michigan communities.

Alma is updating and expanding its water treatment plant.
     
Community leaders came out to celebrate Friday afternoon during a ground-breaking ceremony.

St. Louis joined Alma in 2008 after the city was told it needed to find a new water source. City leaders from Alma and St. Louis came together to celebrate the start of a $30 million project.
     
Francis Morado, who has lived in Alma for nearly 40 years, is among several residents who have been waiting for this day for a long time.

"It means a lot and not only for myself, but for all our community," she said.

It all began several years ago when the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality told St. Louis it needed to find a new source of drinking water. They said contamination in the Pine River would eventually make the water unsafe to drink.
     
At first, St. Louis mayor Jim Kelly didn't like the idea of joining with Alma.

"I was one of the naysayers. We had always had our own water system and it didn't seem right to lose that. The expense was so great that changing the water system was going to cost millions of dollars that we didn't have," he said.

Soon after, he had a change of heart.

"When somebody come up with the idea of a water authority, I said, 'I can buy into that. It's a team effort,'" Kelly said.

That team effort is what got them to this point. Construction at the water treatment plant in Alma started Friday.

"We'll be providing safe drinking water for the entire region and I think that it's inspiring that the two cities are working together to provide and I think it's a role model for the entire state to follow," said Roxann Harrington, city commissioner for Alma.
   
The project is expected to take two years to complete.
          
Other parts of the project include installation of two pipelines to St. Louis. Crews will also build another water tower and expand the wells.
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