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Alpena Township seeks funding to update water system, combat microplastics

James Rintamaki

Microplastics have been identified by the EPA as being an emerging contaminant. Alpena Township officials said they’re trying to get ahead of the problem by applying for a grant to combat microplastics in their water system.

Township supervisor Nathan Skibbe wants to update water mains to increase water flow and improve water quality, he said.

“We do have a lot of faulty CPS service lines that are plastic based," Skibbe said. "And our concern is the emerging threat of microplastics, so we want to be ahead of the curve for our consumers and our residents.”

He doesn’t want to wait for a problem to occur, he said. He wants to stop them from happening in the first place.

"Because if we don’t put some effort into our CIP (clean-in-place) and our water infrastructure, then inherently we are going to have a higher expense down the road," Skibbe said. "By mitigating some of the issues we’re forecasting now, we’re best serving our community."

The upgrade would also help with home insurance ratings, he said, and evenly distribute water pressure in households.