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Drinking Water Week
Drinking Water Week
May 7 - 13, 2023
Michigan recognizes national Drinking Water Week each year during the first full week of May. Drinking Water Week was established by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and its partners, and it provides a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives. The Office of the Clean Water Public Advocate (OCWPA) collaborates with other state divisions and agencies in using this week to educate the public on where their drinking water comes from, how to learn about their water quality, and who to contact with questions.
During this week, Michigan also proclaims Tuesday as Private Residential Awareness Day to bring attention to the 2.6 million Michiganders who depend on private wells for their drinking water, as well the responsibilities of well owners to properly maintain and test their wells. Michigan has over one million private residential wells!
Learn About Drinking Water
How do you get your water?Video
Follow the water in the video below as it moves through the environment and becomes our drinking water.
What an amazing journey our water takes to get to our faucet!
Water is supplied to your home from either a public water supply or a private well. It’s important to determine how your water is supplied to understand how your water quality is monitored and who to contact if you have water quality issues. A general rule to follow is: If you get a water bill for your water, you are on a community water supply, which is a type of public supply.
MI EnviroMinute - Community Water Supply
Got a minute? Learn how water travels from a local community water supply through a home and to its faucets.
MI EnviroMinute - Well Water
Got a minute? Learn about how a water well pulls water from deep in the ground and pumps it into your home to your faucet.
✨ Kids Corner ✨
Follow your drinking water from start to tap
MDHHS Activity Books: Grades K - 2
MDHHS Activity Books: Grades 3-5Follow Dewy the Water Drop! Video
Follow Dewy the Water Drop!
In this video, Dewy the water drop explains how water from the environment makes its way into our homes to become our drinking water. You will learn about the water cycle, watersheds, groundwater, surface water, and the ways that drinking water can be supplied to our homes.
How do you learn about your water quality?
If you have a private well, scroll down to our “Resources for private residential well owners” section. If you still have questions or concerns, reach out to your local health department.
If you are on a community water supply, the best way to learn about your local water quality is by reading your water supplier’s Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), also known as an Annual Water Quality Report. Every community water supplier must provide a CCR to its customers by July 1 each year. CCRs may be delivered in different ways, such as a paper copy or via a link within your bill. If you’re not sure where to access yours, contact your local water supplier. Your local water supplier should also be your first call to answer questions or address concerns.
If you still have concerns about your water quality visit our Drinking Water Concern System page. Here you will find frequently asked questions and answers about drinking water quality concerns, information on how to get your water tested, and steps to submit a concern. Submitted concerns are reviewed by the appropriate staff member who will follow up with you. Remember, depending on your water supply, your local health department or water supplier is likely your best resource for answering questions about your water.
✨ Kids Corner ✨
Discover how water filtration works with this hands-on activity from the EPA
To celebrate Drinking Water Week, our specialists here at EGLE took the time to answer questions from our youngest citizens of Michigan!
What is in our drinking water?
In this video, Brandon Onan answered the question: "What is in Our Drinking Water?"
How does water get to our pipes?
In this video, John Karnes answered the question: "How Does Water Get to Our Pipes?"
Why don't we drink out of puddles?
In this video, Heather Brown answered the question: "Why Don't We Drink Out of Puddles?"
Where does our drinking water come from?
In this video, Sara Pearson answered the question: "Where Does Our Drinking Water Come From?"
How can you test your water?
Most contaminants in water have no taste, color, or smell. The only way you might know if you have a problem is to test your drinking water.
The water coming to your home may already be regularly tested for certain contaminants depending on your water supply (view supply types).
- Type 1 community public water supplies are required to routinely test the water for certain contaminants. Your water supplier and their annual Consumer Confidence Report can provide information on testing and results.
- Type 2 noncommunity water supplies are required to routinely test the water for certain contaminants. Your water supplier and your local health department can provide information on testing and results.
- Type 3 public water supplies are required to test the water when the well is constructed. Talk with your landlord or community association to find out who is responsible for the well, testing, and maintenance and about testing schedules and results.
- If you have a private residential well, testing is your responsibility. Check with your local health department to learn if there are any drinking water concerns in your area and what testing is recommended. MDHHS recommends annual testing for Coliform Bacteria and E. coli, nitrate, and nitrite and testing every 3-5 years for arsenic, copper, and lead. Consider testing for PFAS every 3-5 years as well, unless there is detection at the onset, in which case you should consider resampling each year.
If you have concerns about your water quality or want to know more about your water, consider doing your own testing.
Drinking Water Testing for PFAS
If you live near a potential PFAS source or if you are unsure, consider testing your drinking water via a certified PFAS Laboratory. Call the MDHHS Drinking Water Hotline at 844-934-1315 to see if your home is in an area that is under investigation for PFAS, in which case MDHHS may be able to test your water for free.
School drinking water information & teacher resources
Healthy water is important to everyone, especially for children as they are still growing and learning, and Michigan’s children spent a significant portion of their day in school or childcare facilities. Many of these facilities receive their water from a public water supply.
The School Drinking Water Program, within EGLE, works with schools and childcare facilities to monitor water quality.
Have questions? Learn more by reading our School Drinking Water Quality: Parent Information FAQ Document
¿Preguntas? Calidad del agua potable en las escuelas: Información para los padres. Preguntas frecuentes
جودة مياه الشرب في المدرسة: معلومات للآباء. الأسئلة الشائعة المتكررة
👩🏫 Teachers and Educators 👨🏫
Visit Environmental Lending Station to borrow, free of charge, EnviroScape models and other resources for hands-on demonstrations with your students. These items can allow students to see how contamination impacts groundwater, surface water, watersheds and the Great Lakes. Watch a Drinking Water and Wastewater model demo to get an idea of how they can be used.
Great Lakes Literacy education exploration, or GLLee, opportunities are an introductory collection of resources and partners assembled in three easy steps to help teachers and youth explore Great Lakes Literacy through place-based education and stewardship opportunities in your school and community! A course on the Urban Water Cycle (grades 4-12) recently released – check it out!
Don’t forget to visit Michigan.gov/EGLEClassroom for more resources, like the EnviroSchool Webinar Series (earn SCECH credits)!
Lead in drinking water
One way you may be exposed to lead is through drinking water. Water is lead free when it leaves the treatment plant, but it can pick up lead as it moves through plumbing. Homes with older plumbing or with lead service lines are at a higher risk for lead in drinking water.
How lead gets in drinking water
Learn how lead gets into drinking water with this short video.
Lead in drinking water safety tips
Protect your loved ones. Use these lead in drinking water safety tips.Things you can do to reduce lead in drinking water
Concerned about lead in your drinking water?
To find out if lead may be a concern in your drinking water there are a few things you can do:
- If you are on a public water supply, contact your local water supplier to find out if you may have a lead service line or investigate yourself using this Finding Lead Pipes tool created by NPR. You can also find your water supply's lead results via your Consumer Confidence Report or by visiting Michigan.gov/MiLeadSafe.
- Complete an at-home lead plumbing checklist
- The only conclusive way to know if there is lead in your drinking water is to test it. Your public water supplier may be able to do this, or you can contact a laboratory certified for lead analysis.
For more information about lead and resources to share in your community, visit Michigan.gov/MiLeadSafe and Michigan.gov/KnowYourWater.
PFAS in drinking waterEGLE Classroom - Introduction to PFAS Video
EGLE Classroom - Introduction to PFAS
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large family of man-made chemicals that contain carbon, fluorine, and other elements and are found in a variety of products including firefighting foams, household products such as non-stick cookware, food packaging, and stain and water repellants.
People can be exposed to PFAS in a variety of ways, including drinking water contaminated with PFAS.
PFAS CyclePFAS chemicals don't break down and can accumulate over time. In recent years, experts have become increasingly concerned by the potential effects of high concentrations of PFAS on human health. PFAS move easily through the ground and may get into groundwater that is used for some water supplies or for private drinking water wells.Why are my PFAS test results different than my neighbors? Video
Why are my PFAS test results different than my neighbors?
How to find out if PFAS may be a concern in your drinking water depends, again, on how you get your water. If you’re on a public supply, your water is already routinely tested for the seven PFAS chemicals regulated under the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act.
If you have a private well, you can find out if you are in or near a PFAS Site or Area of Interest and/or test your water for PFAS. Find out about why results may vary from well to well with this short video.
In 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2019-3, establishing the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) as an established, enduring body to address the threat of PFAS contamination in Michigan, protect public health, and ensure the safety of Michigan's land, air, and water, while facilitating inter-agency coordination, increasing transparency, and requiring clear standards to ensure accountability.
For more information about PFAS, visit Michigan.gov/PFASresponse.
Resources for private residential well owners
A well and its water are ultimately the responsibility of the well owner. If you have a private well, there are things that you should do to monitor your well system and your drinking water to help protect your family’s health and ensure quality tap water.
Check with your local health department to learn if there are any drinking water concerns in your area and what testing is recommended. MDHHS recommends yearly testing for Coliform Bacteria and E. coli, nitrate, and nitrite and testing every 3-5 years for arsenic, copper, and lead. If you live near a potential PFAS source or if you are unsure, consider testing your drinking water via a certified PFAS Laboratory. Call the MDHHS Drinking Water Hotline at 844-934-1315 to see if your home is in an area that is under investigation for PFAS, in which case MDHHS may be able to test your water for free.
Great Lakes Community Action Partnership, Rural Community Assistance Program Water Well Assessment Program provides rural residents with no-cost well evaluations to help well owners determine possible sources of well contamination and other safety concerns, and a Household Water Well Assistance program that provides low-interest financing for well repair or construction.
Choose a topic below from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Care for MiWell website to learn more.
Help promote drinking water and private residential well owner education in your community using the Care for MiWell Promotion Toolkit. This toolkit contains prepared, science-based social media messages, graphics, videos, and printable materials. All of these materials are designed to make sharing drinking water information easy.
Subscribe to MDHHS drinking water and health newsletter to stay informed.
✨ Kids’ Corner ✨
Additional well water resources
- Protect Against the Unknown: Test Your Drinking Water from Your Well
- Coliform Bacteria in Drinking Water (Bacterias Coliformes en el Aqua Potable para Propietarios de Pozo) (Arabic)
- Nitrate and Nitrite in Drinking Water (Nitrato y Nitrito en el Agua Potable para Propietarios de Pozos) (Arabic)
- Arsenic in Well Water
- PFAS in Drinking Water for Private Residential Well Owners
- Drinking Water Testing Fees and Tests Available
- Care for MiWell – Pregnant Persons and Families with Babies
- Drinking Water Well Maintenance (Mantenimiento del Pozo de Agua Potable) (Arabic)
- A Consumer's Guide to Hiring a Well Contractor
- Protecting Your Private Water Supply in an Emergency
- Plugging Abandoned Wells
- Plugging Wells When Community Water Lines are Extended
- Managing Water for Health in a Changing Climate Story Map – an interactive map where users can learn where their water comes from and if protections have been established for community and private wells and septic systems. This tool is also useful for local units of government looking to enact local policies to better protect their drinking water.
Who regulates your water?
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is responsible for enforcing the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act under the legislative authority of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act, which means that EGLE regulates the public water supplies to ensure that they are complying with state and federal requirements to provide clean water to Michigan residents. There are approximately 1,400 community water supplies and 10,000 noncommunity water supplies regulated by EGLE.
Additionally, EGLE also regulates the water well drilling industry. Michigan has nearly 1.12 million households served by private wells, with approximately 15,000 domestic wells drilled each year. EGLE investigates drinking water well contamination and oversees remedial activities at sites of groundwater contamination affecting drinking water wells.
Local health departments (LHDs) are the primary regulatory agencies with respect to residential wells. They are required to maintain a list of environmental contaminants within their jurisdiction, and they consider this information when they issue permits for new wells. LHDs work with Michigan residents to ensure compliance with monitoring and routine inspections of Type II and III wells.
How can you get involved?
The Clean Water Ambassador Initiative is a statewide effort designed to improve education and communication concerning water quality in Michigan. Clean Water Ambassadors are invited to attend virtual monthly meetings, share information via social media with their communities, and learn about drinking water issues. Ambassadors are also kept up to date on emerging legislation, conferences, and water infrastructure funding opportunities. If you are at least 18 years old and live in Michigan, you can become a Clean Water Ambassador too!
“Thank you, Clean Water Ambassadors! The time you give to learn more about Michigan’s drinking water, spread information to your community, and provide valuable feedback is important and appreciated. I look forward to our work together!”
Looking for a new career path? There is a real need for water and wastewater professionals in Michigan. This field encompasses a huge variety of educational backgrounds and career options, from trade skills to administration to engineering. Need more education for a position that look interesting to you? There are some great funding opportunities available. Learn more at Michigan.gov/CareersInWater.
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