The City of Jackson is making plans to share its drinking water with a neighboring township. The City is receiving a $5 million federal grant for construction of a water main connecting Napoleon Township to the City of Jackson water system.
With a population of over 6,800 residents, Napoleon Township is a small rural community located southeast of the City of Jackson. Due to environmental concerns and limitations of its own water system, the township started conversations with City officials about the feasibility of tapping into Jackson’s water system. This proposal got a big boost thanks to $5 million in federal funding secured by U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (R), who represents Jackson County in Michigan’s 5th Congressional District.
Rep. Walberg submitted the project, named the Napoleon/M-50 Water Main Transmission Project, as one of his member-designated projects in 2022. The proposal received $5 million from H.R. 2617 - Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was signed into law in Dec. The funding will be used to construct a new 16” water main of approximately 9.5 miles long along M-50 to Napoleon Township.
“Having had many conversations with local officials and constituents throughout Jackson County, it is clear Napoleon Township is in significant need of water system improvements as they are outgrowing their existing system,” Rep. Walberg said. “This project will help connect the City of Jackson to Napoleon Township and in doing so, provide safe drinking water to both their residential and non-residential users. This project is crucial to the public health, safety, and welfare of the community. Rather than federal dollars being divvied out by a bureaucrat in Washington, I highlighted the project and am pleased to see it go forward.”
Napoleon Township Supervisor Dan Gallagher says the township is thankful for this funding. “This $5 million City of Jackson grant for a new, consistent source of clean water will greatly help Napoleon’s future business development, enhance growth of the area, and provide a backbone for the community’s long range goals,” Gallagher said. “In addition, with the dozens of fire hydrants that would be added, it will cut down on homeowners’ insurance for our residents that are within 1,000 feet of one of them, allowing residents to keep more of their hard-earned income for other needs. On behalf of the Napoleon community, we pass along our special thanks to Tim Walberg and his great team and look forward to working with the City of Jackson on this project.”
Mike Osborn, City of Jackson Director of Public Works, says the City is excited for this regional partnership. “Our Water Treatment Plant has the capacity to produce 24 million gallons of treated water a day and we’re currently only producing 5 million a day, so our facility definitely has the ability to be a regional water source,” Osborn said. “When governments work together, residents of both communities benefit. Growth in Napoleon also makes a positive impact in Jackson.”
Osborn says there is currently no timeline for when the connection work will begin. Napoleon Township officials have indicated they are preparing funding sources to cover the cost of using Jackson water. Napoleon tapping into Jackson’s system will not bring any extra costs to current Jackson water customers.
The City of Jackson uses 16 groundwater wells to source drinking water. Located in the areas of Ella Sharp Park and E. Mansion Street, these wells go down 400 feet below the surface to an underground aquifer. Water is pumped to the Water Treatment Plant on E. Mansion Street, where it is cleaned and tested. In 2019, Jackson won a “Best Tasting Water” award from the Michigan Section of the American Water Works Association.