The Great Lakes Commission says the region needs to drastically improve public water systems.
The commission is calling for upgrading wastewater treatment plants, storm water pipes and drinking water filtration systems. The cost is estimated to be 271 billion dollars. The commission says recent drinking water crises in Flint, Michigan, and Toledo illustrate the hazards of aging and underfunded infrastructure. Billions of gallons of sewage and untreated storm water are released into the Great Lakes each year because outdated systems can't handle it. It also recommends a closer look at emerging pollutants such as chemicals, drugs and microplastics.