We need better Water !
Government does NOT protect you, or the water, nearly as much as you may think. Michigan has numerous contaminated water issues all around in SouthEast Michigan.
Don’t be duped by marketing media hype promotions revolving around economic gain.
Michigan has more than 1.3 million on-site wastewater systems (septics), but is the only state without a specific law regulating them. No central system exists to track the locations or conditions of these systems as Michigan lacks a statewide sanitary code that would require inspections. Only 11 of Michigan’s 83 counties conduct septic inspections at time the time of real estate transaction.
More than half of all new single-family houses built today in Michigan are not serviced by a public wastewater utility but instead rely on individual septic systems. The report estimates that at least 130,000 systems statewide are likely failing and discharging as much as 31 million gallons of sewage per day.
Michigan has more than 1 million private domestic wells, more than any other state in the U.S. While public water supplies are subject to oversight and frequent inspections to ensure their quality and safety, individual residential water well owners are responsible for the maintenance of their own wells, and the siting and construction of these wells is handled at the local level rather than at the state level.
The state has an estimated 2 million improperly abandoned wells, each of which poses a risk to groundwater resources by providing a potential conduit between the surface and underground aquifers, or between aquifers.
Michigan has more than 8,500 leaking underground storage tanks and more than 9,700 other sites of environmental contamination. Twelve of Michigan’s original 14 designated Areas of Concern remain on the list of areas with legacy contamination. Cleanup funds and monitoring funds from previous statewide bonds are within a few years of disappearing, and no replacement source has been identified.
About 8,500 of the state’s more than 10,500 public water systems rely on untreated or minimally treated, high-quality groundwater sources. Protection of groundwater resources is critically important for environmental and social use. That means we need both proactive protection of headwater areas and groundwater recharge zones, along with action to deal with legacy pollution (e.g., the massive Mancelona TCE plume that recently made it into Scientific American magazine).
More than 2,500 new high-capacity irrigation groundwater wells have been registered for installation in Michigan in just the past four years. Total agricultural water use continues to increase, meaning the state needs to reconvene its water withdrawal assessment tool review team sooner rather than later in order to ensure we have the best information available about the impacts of these new wells.
Michigan has 35,000 miles of public drains. They are all heavily modified forms of their former selves (we used to call them streams and rivers), and as MEC board member Dr. Bryan Burroughs recently wrote, our system of drain management needs a serious look.
An estimated 7,000 pounds of mercury were emitted in Michigan in 2002, the last time an inventory was completed. That contributes to advisories to limit consumption of fish from our waters. About 37 percent of the mercury came from coal combustion and about 30 percent from “purposeful use” of mercury.
In the U.S., more than 13 percent of our total electrical energy goes to pump, treat and heat water supplies. The Huron River Watershed Council validated and explored this connection in a 2014 report, The Carbon Footprint of Domestic Water Use in the Huron River Watershed.