Winter can traditionally be a downtime for many tradespeople, but with the whole water mess in Benton Harbor, there may be an opportunity for people who know plumbing to make some bank.

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The City of Benton Harbor's goal is to replace pretty much all the lead water pipes going in and out of homes, in the next 18 months. While that may sound like a lofty goal, it's going to need a lot of skilled tradespeople to pull that off. While local contractors will have the advantage of being nearby, the city of Benton Harbor is looking for additional contractors for service line replacement and also, two plumbing inspector jobs have been posted by the State of Michigan. As the state says, "this is part of an across-the-board, whole-of-government effort to ensure residents have access to safe, clean drinking water."

How to get information on getting the job:

The governor's office has come up with $20 million to move things along. If you're a contractor, maybe you've been on this site, but here's where to get the whole process started. And the really important thing to know is the deadline for bidding on the jobs is December 17th.

The plumbing inspector jobs are applied for separately, and the deadline is earlier. That deadline is Monday, December 13th.

To point out how complicated this whole endeavor is, residents need to submit the application to have the work done. Even though it won't cost homeowners, the city still has to have the owner's approval before work can start. You can download that form here, which has all the directions, too.

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