Jessica Mathews /

Some local communities have been awarded state grant funds for their water systems.

Grants were awarded to 29 Michigan public water systems through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to help fund programs to protect those clean water sources and to educate the public about where their water originates and how best to ensure it remains healthy.

Fenton, Howell, the MHOG Sewer & Water Authority, and Milford were among the recipients.

More than $436,000 in funding was awarded for this year’s individual grants that will support programs that include updated plans for wellhead protection areas, public education about water sources, and the development of surface water intake programs, among other projects.

As part of the program, the applicants must provide 50% matching funds for the projects, develop a water protection team, and demonstrate long-term commitment to their source water protection programs.

Sara Pearson is the source water unit supervisor with EGLE’s Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division. She says “EGLE is on the job every day working with Michigan’s 1,381 community water systems to deliver safe water to residents. “But the first and most crucial step in the process is to ensure that the lakes, rivers, or groundwater wells that deliver that water are free of contaminants. These grants will help communities keep those water sources safe and reliable”.