Second Gentleman visits Utah touting federal money to help Salt Lake City’s aging water pipes

Mar 22, 2024, 4:53 PM | Updated: Mar 23, 2024, 12:10 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The second gentleman of the United States, Doug Emhoff, was in Utah Friday to help announce a program to replace aging pipes in Salt Lake City.

“Salt Lake City was recently awarded a $39 million loan with $19 million in principal forgiveness to implement a five-year planning and construction project for lead service line inventory and replacement through our drinking water system,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall.

The money comes from the Biden administration-passed infrastructure law, which will help the city fix and ensure lead-free pipes.

Federal money will also help rebuild City Creek’s water treatment plant, which provides drinking water for downtown residents.

“$36 million from the Building Resistance Infrastructure (and) Communities, or what we call BRIC program to rebuild and retrofit this City Creek water treatment plant. This City Creek water treatment plant was the first municipal water treatment plant west of the Mississippi River. This plant has been so integral to the city’s drinking water supply for more than 65 years,” Mendenhall said.

It’s expected to be done in 2027.

Emhoff said the investments are part of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ commitment to clean water access across the county.

“You really have a right to drink clean water. You must have clean drinking water. But with the climate crisis and the aging infrastructure in our country, that is a threat to this essential right,” he said. “This new funding will help the much-needed improvements and ensure that local residents are going to have clean water for many, many years to come, which is important through the bipartisan infrastructure law,”

Emhoff was joined in Utah by Tom Perez, senior advisor to President Biden. Earlier in the day, he toured a sheet metal facility in West Valley City.

With some of the administration’s COVID-19 relief money, titled the American Rescue Plan Act, Salt Lake County started an apprentice program to help get more people into trades like sheet metal, electrical, HVAC and others.

The program specifically tries to recruit women into the trades as well.

After the event, Emhoff and Perez were headed to meet with local experts for a round table on how to help the Great Salt Lake.

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Second Gentleman visits Utah touting federal money to help Salt Lake City’s aging water pipes