By Mike Kruzman /

The City of Brighton is receiving a grant to help offset the cost of a statewide initiative to better ensure municipalities are providing safe drinking water.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has implemented the Distribution System Materials Inventory initiative. The initiative, which stems from the Flint Water Crisis, requires water suppliers, like the City of Brighton, to identify whether and where certain construction materials are present in the piping, storage structure, pumps, and controls used to deliver water to the public, including service lines. Of the materials being looked for are lead from piping, solder, caulking, interior lining of mains, alloys, and home plumbing.

At last week’s meeting of City Council, Brighton Regulatory Compliance Superintendent Joshua Bradley brought forth an agreement for a Water Asset Management Grant from EGLE that is expected to completely cover the costs of the City’s required participation.

Bradley said they will be required to do 354 verifications, which is 20% of the city, and explained the process. He said they will excavate down to the water service line at curb box (shut-off valve for houses) so the water department can verify the types of pipe used. Bradley said they also have to check the first 18-inches of the piping in the interior of the house to complete the initiative, as well.

Verifications will be decided randomly using a formula provided by EGLE. Residents affected will be notified with details before any excavating takes place. The process at the curb boxes will be done by hydro-excavation, which is said to be a cleaner excavation with a smaller footprint than a backhoe. Restoration work will be completed following verifications. City Council unanimously approved the agreement accepting the grant, for a total of $218,564.