Water & Sewer Improvements


Department of Municipal Utilities


(231) 922-4900

As the City continues to focus on the improvement of water systems, five year project plans for drinking water and clean water (wastewater) have been developed resulting in $48 million investment. 

The City Commission's 2022 adopted their Goals and Objectives identified water systems as a strategic priority with a goal to proactively and consistently maintain, conserve, and manage water and water systems to reduce harm to the systems themselves as well as public health and safety.

Current & Completed Projects

Water Service Line Replacement Project: Active

Michigan's 2017 Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) declares that a galvanized water service is a lead service line if it "is or ever was" connected to a lead gooseneck, and requires the water utility to pay for replacing private water services from the curb stop near the right of way into the building or home.  A lead gooseneck is a 3-foot-long piece of lead pipe used as a transition between the brass connection to the water main and a threaded galvanized pipe. These were installed prior to the mid-1940's. Since then, the City has been installing copper services for the City-owned portion between the water main and the curb stop. The City has no known fully lead services (lead pipes).  Not all private galvanized water service lines need to be replaced. For example, if a private galvanized service line was originally connected to a City-owned copper service from the water main, it was never connected to a lead gooseneck, so it doesn't need to be replaced.  

The City received a DWSRF loan for $3,510,500 and DWI grant for $1,504,500 in 2022 (total $5,015,000) for a 3-year project that included replacement of an estimated 300 private galvanized water services that were previously connected to a lead gooseneck. In 2023 (year one), 118 replacements were completed. It is estimated that approximately 700 more service lines will need replacement outside of this project. Last fall, the City was awarded an additional $2 million grant from the Michigan Department of Great Lakes and Energy to replace private galvanized water services under the LCR criteria. This grant will help to replace a portion of the remaining private service lines.

The 2024 project kicked off in April 1, 2024 and is anticipated to be completed in all identified locations in October 2024. Work will result in sidewalk closures and intermittent street closures.

Looking Ahead

The week of July 8th, project activities will take place on the 700,800, and 900 block of E. State Street.

The week of July 15th, the project will continue on the 700 & 800 blocks of E. State Street, 100 block of Barlow, 1000 block of Washington, 800 block of Webster, nd 1,000 block of E. Eighth, and the 1,300 block of Veterans Drive. The work will cause sidewalk and intermittent street closures.

Project Map

Boardman River Wall Stabilization & Sewer Relocation Project: Complete

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund

In June 2021, the City Commission approved developing a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Project Plan.  The Project Plan identifies improvements to the Water Treatment Plant, the Distribution System, and projects related to aging infrastructure, water quality, and improved treatment of efficiency and electrical energy reduction. The total estimated cost of potential improvements is $20,261,500 over a 5 year period. 

  • Service Line Replacement (active)
  • US-31 MDOT Project, 16 Inch from US-31/Bay and 12 Inch from US-31/Railroad to US-31/Garfield (active)
  • WTP Improvements
  • Electrical Improvements
  • Pump & Valve Replacement/Rehabilitation
  • Sodium Hypochlorite Storage Tank & Building Upgrades
  • Backwash and Surface Wash Pumps
  • Freight Elevator & Generator Replacement
  • Wayne Hill Booster Station (active)
  • North Madison & Jefferson Watermain (complete)
  • 24 Inch from Lake/Cass to Lake/Union
  • 24 Inch from Lake/Union to Lake/Wadsworth
  • 16 Inch on East Front from Franklin to Park
  • 24 Inch from Webster/Rose to 8th/Railroad
  • 24 Inch from Garfield/Washington to Webster/Rose

The total estimated cost of potential improvements in 2021 was $20,261,500 over a 5 year period. EGLE provides a low-interest loan financing program to assist qualified municipalities with the construction or upgrade of drinking water infrastructure.

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Project Plan

Clean Water State Revolving Fund

The Project Plan for the City of Traverse City Wastewater Improvements Program has been prepared using the Project Plan Preparation Guidance of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Administrative Rules. 

  • Lower Boardman River Wall Sanitary Sewer
  • Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation
  • Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Study (SSES)
  • US 31 Reconstruction - Utility Replacement
  • Primary Treatment improvements (active)
  • UV Disinfection Upgrades (active)
  • East Front Street Sewer Improvements
  • Wet Weather Equalization/Diversion

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Project Plan was a result of conditions found during recent Stormwater, Asset Management, and Wastewater System (SAW) Programs, and other evaluations completed. Several of the sanitary sewer collection system projects are needed to ensure the sanitary collection system and Wastewater Treatment Plant operates properly. Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) and Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) that have were also considered with the project plan. The total estimated cost of potential improvements in 2021 was $28,734,260 over a 5 year period. 

Clean Water State State Revolving Fund Project Plan

Project 1: Boardman River Wall Stablization & Sewer Relocation Project

Water Reliability Study

The City also conducted a Water Reliability Study in 2021. The existing and future demands for the projected 5-year and 20-year conditions demonstrate that the current maximum demand can be met by the firm water supply capacity (19.7 mgd) of the Water Treatment Plant, but the 20-year maximum daily demand will be approaching the firm water supply capacity.

2021 Water Reliability Study


Approximlately $28.5 million in Clean Water (wastewater) projects are being planned over the next five years, the bulk of which – $17 million – is for upgrades at the wastewater treatment plant.

The City is also targeting over $20 million in repairs to its Drinking Water (water) system over the next years, including its water treatment plant and distribution lines.

The DWSRF and the CWSRF projects are being funded by State Revolving Fund (SRF) low-interest loans (1.85%).  For the first year, 30% of the DWSRF loan and 15% of the CWSRF loan will be forgiven through grants from the state. 

At their August 15, 2022 meeting, the City Commission approved up to $8 million in bonds for year 1 in drinking and clean water project plans. The DWSRF Project Plan received approval for up to $4.5 million in bonds for the Boardman River Wall Sanitary Sewer Relocation Project. The CWSRF Project Plan received approval for up to $3.5 million in bonds for the Service Line Replacement Project.