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Cities of Gladwin, Harrison put spotlight on protecting drinking water sources

As part of Source Water Protection Week, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is highlighting the efforts of the cities of Gladwin and Harrison to educate students and other about the importance of protecting drinking water sources, with the help of EGLE grants.

Students and others in Gladwin and Harrison are learning about the importance of protecting drinking water – and that means protecting water at its source. Source water includes surface water or groundwater that is used currently – or potentially in the future -- for drinking water.


With the help of an EGLE grant, the City of Gladwin held a banner contest with Gladwin Public Schools, open to K-12 students. The city displayed banners designed by the winners throughout the city, and recognized the winners and gave them source water protection t-shirts.


Winning banners like this one were displayed on Gladwin streets as part of a source water protection banner school contest.

Winning banners like this one were displayed on Gladwin streets as part of a source water protection banner school contest. 


Also visible around the city are three signs that include information on the water cycle and fun facts on drinking water protection. The signs drive home the message that whatever is dumped on the ground will enter the water cycle.

The City of Gladwin also included participation in the Michigan Wellhead Protection Program in its Consumer Confidence Report that was included in the city’s spring/summer newsletter sent to all residents. The newsletter also included an advertisement for the city’s annual household hazardous waste collection day.


The City of Harrison teamed up with the Michigan Rural Water Association to do groundwater model presentations with Harrison Middle School students. Some 101 students saw a demonstration of the groundwater model; made edible “aqui-flurries,” (a fun way to understand the geology of an aquifer); and took a field trip to the well house, water tower, and wastewater lagoons. They learned about the importance of water, groundwater specifics and ways to protect water sources.

 Students from Harrison learn about Source Water Protection.

Students from Harrison learn about source water protection. 


The city also hosted a calendar contest with 5th grade students and a t-shirt design contest with 6th through 8th grade students.

Source Water Protection Week focuses on taking a proactive approach to safeguard, maintain or improve the quality and/or the quantity of drinking water sources and their contributing areas. It encourages people to:

  • Recognize water as a precious resource.
  • Help conserve the watersheds that are the source of our water.
  • Protect our shared water resources from pollution.
  • Practice water conservation.
  • Become involved in local water issues, and
  • Plan to protect water for future community health and economic vitality.