Why Clean Water Matters:
- Health of people and planet. Clean water is critical for all life functions on the planet and is highly susceptible to contamination from human activities such as dumping, littering and sewage overflow.
- Equity and social justice. Every community member deserves to have clean water for their daily needs as well as access and opportunity to experience and enjoy our local waterways.
- Economy and community. Our waterways are centerpieces of the community, not only connecting us to the natural environment but allowing us an opportunity to connect with one another. There is huge economic development potential in safe and clean urban waters.
What Lansing is Doing:
Working with the Greater Lansing Regional Committee on Stormwater Management, the city is working to implement the Wet Weather Control Program. This effort is addressing the need for separated systems to handle sanitary sewage and stormwater. In the past, sewage collection systems were designed as combined systems to collect both raw sewage and rain and snow melt for transport to the wastewater treatment plant. When the flow volume exceeds the capacity of the treatment plant and sewers, the untreated sewage overflows into the Red Cedar or Grand River. The Wet Weather Program will correct this issue and help the city maintain compliance with EPA stormwater regulations. It will have a positive, lasting impact on the water quality of the Grand and Red Cedar rivers, not only by improving public health and the water quality of the rivers as they flow through the City, but for all downstream communities and four of the five Great Lakes. In addition, the Lansing Board of Water & Light is actively involved in regional wellhead protection efforts and works with the DEQ and EPA to protect our groundwater from contamination hazards that exist in our region.
What You Can Do:
- Make the Switch – At home and at work, choose natural cleaning products instead of ones that have harsh chemicals, perfumes and dyes that end up in our water when washed down the drain.
- Safely dispose of hazardous materials – Expired medications, fertilizers, car oil, paints and other hazardous materials contaminate our water when they get flushed down the toilet or washed into sewers. Instead, take them to the county health department for proper disposal.
- Pick it up – Pet waste and litter are not only unattractive to look at, they also impact water quality. When it rains or snow melts, pet waste and litter get washed into our rivers or storm sewers. These introduce chemicals and bacteria to our water sources and harm wildlife.
- Conserve Use – Simple actions such as turning off the faucet while brushing teeth and only running full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine can make a difference by conserving the amount of water that has to be treated and distributed. Plant native flowers and grasses in your yard instead of annuals or invasives. Native plant varieties are adapted to the weather and soil conditions found in our region and will require less watering than non-natives.