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Water Resources Division

The mission of the WRD is to make Michigan’s waters safe and clean for recreating, fishing, drinking, and healthy aquatic ecosystems.
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Water Resources Division

The Water Resources Division (WRD) protects and monitors Michigan's waters by establishing water quality standards, assessing the health of aquatic communities, issuing permits to regulate wastewater dischargers, and overseeing aquatic invasive species concerns and water withdrawals. The division processes permit applications and provides technical assistance to local soil erosion and sedimentation control programs, as well as activities like dredging or filling, constructing or dismantling dams, constructing marinas, seawalls, or docks, building in a designated critical sand dune, wetland, or floodplain, and protecting underwater shipwreck resources. The Division oversees and issues construction permits for all public wastewater infrastructure, requires asset management in NPDES permits to ensure proper maintenance and oversees critical large-scale infrastructure improvements in the area of CSO/SSO control vital to health of Michigan's waterways.

WRD's mission: Make Michigan’s waters safe and clean for recreating, fishing, drinking, and healthy aquatic ecosystems.

Eurasian Watermilfoil at Clear Lake

Aquatic Invasive Species

An invasive species is one that is not native and whose introduction can harm Michigan's economy, environment, or human health.

Aerial of Inland Lake

Aquatic Nuisance Control (ANC)

Permits to control aquatic nuisance species without harming public health, recreation, or the environment.

Two EGLE staff examining organisms from a sample of a stream to assess water quality

Assessment of Michigan Waters

Provides scientifically sound water quality data for surface waters to support decision-making.

Ocean going ship

Ballast Water

Determines whether ballast water management practices are being complied with by all vessels operating on the Great Lakes.

Kids at beach

Beach Water Monitoring

Beach monitoring, closings, and E. coli test results for Michigan's public beaches and recreational-use waterways.

A tractor hauling a bright red tank through a farm field applying biosolids


The permitting and use of biosolids, which are nutrient-rich organic material from treated domestic sewage.

Generic CAFO in Michigan

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation

Permitting to protect water quality at Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and where manure is land applied.

Tahquamenon River mouth at Lake Superior

Coastal Management

Technical assistance and grants to mitigate hazards, create healthy habitats, and support resilient planning for a sustainable coastline.

Croton Dam on Muskegon River

Dam Safety

Inspection and regulation of the operation of dams.

Dredging Projects

Permitting for dredging submerged areas of the Great Lakes, inland lakes, and streams.

flooding along Grand River in Lansing

Floodplain Management, National Flood Insurance

Identifying floodplains, permitting activities within floodplains, and assisting communities with the National Flood Insurance Program.

AOC Program - Detroit River - Banner Image

Great Lakes Areas of Concern

Michigan’s Areas of Concern (AOC) program works to restore sites affected by legacy contamination and development.

Aerial of Great Lakes in winter

Great Lakes Coordination Program

Works with partner agencies to protect and restore the world's premier freshwater ecosystem and support economically viable communities.

WWTP for Groundwater discharge banner

Groundwater Discharge

Regulating the discharge of treated wastewater to the ground or groundwaters of the state.

Rain storm

Hydrologic Data

Collects, evaluates, and analyzes hydrologic data to provide technical hydrologic engineering support.

IPP Banner

Industrial Pretreatment

Regulating the discharge of industrial wastewater to protect treatment facilities, their staff, the public, and the environment.

Inland Lake in Michigan

Inland Lakes and Streams Protection

Protection of the natural resources and the public trust waters of the inland lakes and streams of the state.

Lake with boat launch at sunset

Inland Lakes Monitoring

Monitoring of inland lakes to meet specified goals and reports on the quality of the state's surface water resources.

SESC resources graphic

Joint Permit Application

Permits for projects at the land/water interface - shorelines, wetlands, etc.

Marina - Menominee


Permitting for all construction projects that meet the legal definition of a marina.

Rain and rainbow on the St. Marys River

Nonpoint Source Pollution

Technical assistance and grants to restore waters impaired by NPS pollution and protect high quality waters from NPS threats.

NPDES Banner - Cass City first day of new facility

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits

Permit process to control the discharge of pollutants into surface waters by effluent limitations.

Lab equipment

Operator Certifications: Wastewater

Provides rules and regulations, technical assistance, and training and certification for wastewater system operators.

Manistee WTP construction

Part 41 Wastewater Construction Permit

Permits for the construction and operation of wastewater facilities.

Salt Storage - Photo for Part 5 Rules page

Part 5 Rules: Management or Spillage of Oil and Polluting Materials

Management or spillage of oil and other polluting materials under Part 5 rules.

Tracer Dye in lake

Rule 97 Certifications: Applying Chemicals to Water

Applying material to waters of the state for resource management requires a Rule 97 Certification of Approval.

Sleeping Bear Dunes Lake Shore - Photo Credit Lucky Lugan

Sand Dune Protection

Protects certain sand dune areas from damage as a result of developmental, recreational, and forest management activities.

CSO SSO RTB Conner facility for banner

Sanitary and Combined Sewers

Eliminating Sanitary Sewer Overflows and regulating discharges from Combined Sewer Overflows and Retention Treatment Basins.

bluff erosion in Muskegon County, MI

Shoreland Management

Great Lakes shoreland permits, including high risk erosion areas (HREA) and critical dunes (CDA).

Soil Erosion banner

Soil Erosion and Construction Storm Water

Permitting and control of soil erosion to protect adjacent properties and surface waters from sedimentation.

Industrial Storm Water banner - discharge pipes

Storm Water: Industrial

Permitting industrial storm water facilities, certifying facility operators, and reviewing Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans.

Grand River Lansing

Storm Water: Municipal

Permits for discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4).

Flooded Shoreline

Subdivision Floodplain

Review of proposed subdivisions to ensure road access and sufficient buildable area above the floodplain for each lot.

Thunder Bay - EB Allen shipwreck

Submerged Lands

Regulates construction activities along Great Lakes shoreline and public trust bottomlands to maintain and manage the resources for its citizens.

TMDL banner - Pine River

Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)

When a lake or stream does not meet water quality standards, a TMDL is completed to determine how much pollutant load can be assimilated.

M-26 over the Eagle River

Transportation Review

Land/water interface permits for public road projects including bridges, culverts, and road widening, and public airport projects.

Center pivot irrigation spraying on farm field

Water Use

Permits and regulates water withdrawals to minimize impacts to surface waters from new and increased withdrawals.

a prairie fen in southwest Michigan


Assessment, monitoring, and regulation of wetland resources and promotion of wetland restoration.

Meet Acting Director Phil Argiroff

Before becoming the WRD acting director, Phil spent 36 years in WRD in jobs including wastewater design review in SE MI, district supervisor in SE MI, Permits Section manager, and assistant division director in WRD.  Phil worked on  difficult compliance and permitting issues related to the City of Detroit and Great Lake Water Authority, particularly related to treatment of combined sewer overflows. 

Phil Argiroff's biography