The city of Benton Harbor has to make some improvements to its water plant as part of a new agreement with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. At this past week’s city commission meeting, the relocation of an aluminum sulfate line at the plant was approved following a DEQ order. The work is needed to help maintain water quality and it comes with a price tag of $10,900. Mayor Marcus Muhammad said this project is part of a consent agreement with the DEQ regarding the water plant after the DEQ noticed some issues there.
“There is a consent agreement that we will be coming under where we have to do certain things, and this is one that can’t be kicked down – this has to be done,” Muhammad said.
Muhammad said other improvements to the water plant will be needed because of the agreement.
“Some of them are related to – I think the manager mentioned the plant was built in 1954 – so certain regulations, certain things, have to be updated,” Muhammad said.
Muhammad said that, along with problems that arose due to lack of staff during the emergency management years, have led to some issues that need to be addressed. He said the DEQ consent agreement is separate from the elevated lead levels discovered in some homes late last year.