Metro area cities can apply for funding to improve local sewers

Date: Thursday, August 24, 2017

Nearly 100 cities across the metro region can now apply for nearly $4 million in funding for sewer improvements aimed at keeping the region’s water supply clean and affordable.

On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Council approved guidelines for Inflow and Infiltration (I/I) Grants. An estimated eighty metro-area communities are now eligible to receive funding for repairs or replacements to public infrastructure, aimed at reducing the amount of storm and groundwater entering the region’s sewer system.

Governor Dayton and the 2017 Legislature approved $3.739 million in state bonding for this initiative, directing the Council to administer the grant program because of its role in managing the region’s wastewater system.

“Across the region, leaders share a deep regard for the importance of water quality,” said Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff. “Investing in our public infrastructure protects our natural resources and public health, allows our economy to grow and prosper, and ensures efficient delivery of wastewater service. Partnerships like these allow us to work together on solutions to our shared problems.”

Metro Cities, which advocates on behalf of all metropolitan cities, was a major supporter of the program.

“Metro Cities advocated for and is very appreciative of the capital investment appropriation provided by the Legislature and Governor to assist metropolitan area cities with I/I mitigation. These funds provide important assistance to local communities as they work to address these issues,” said Patricia Nauman, Executive Director of Metro Cities.

The Metropolitan Council will contact eligible cities to provide more information on how to apply for the funding. Eligibility is based on the local contribution of I/I to the region’s sewer system. Funds will be paid on a reimbursement basis in 2019.

Funds help mitigate Inflow and Infiltration

Funding is meant to help cities repair or replace public infrastructure to reduce “Inflow and Infiltration” (I/I) in the wastewater treatment system. These two types of water do not need to be treated by the sewer system – when they enter the sewer system is takes up needed sewer capacity and increases costs of treating water.

  • Inflow is stormwater that enters the system through faulty manhole covers, sump pumps, foundation drains and rain leaders connected to the sewer system.

  • Infiltration is groundwater that enters the wastewater system through cracks in sewer pipes.

Reducing I/I promotes efficiency because it lessens demand on the system and the need to add sewer capacity. 
In a previous I/I grant program in 2014, the Council awarded grants to 53 participants. Cities must use the grants to improve their local municipal system, not pipes that the Council owns and maintains.

25 by 25

The I/I initiative will help make progress towards the Governor’s goal of improving water quality 25 percent by 2025. The Council is participating in a series of town hall meetings the Governor is holding across the state.

The sessions began July 31 in Greater Minnesota. The last three sessions will take place in the metro area Sept. 27, Oct. 4 and Oct 5. in Minneapolis, Burnsville and Stillwater.

Minneapolis – Water Quality Town Hall

Wednesday, September 27 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Registration opens at 5:30 p.m.
Minneapolis Urban League, 2100 Plymouth Avenue North

Burnsville – Water Quality Town Hall

Wednesday, October 4 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Registration opens at 5:30 p.m.
Diamondhead Education, 200 W Burnsville Pkwy.

Stillwater – Water Quality Town Hall

Thursday, October 5 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Registration opens at 5:30 p.m.
Stillwater High School, 5701 Stillwater Blvd N.

More information

See more information on the Governor’s Water Quality Town Hall meetings.


Posted In: Communities, Planning, Wastewater & Water

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