Water Quality

Lansing is fortunate to have an abundance of clean water for drinking, industrial processes and recreation. Located in the Middle Grand River watershed, Lansing has access to the Red Cedar River and Grand River for recreation and the Saginaw Aquifer for drinking water. These are precious resources that require protection to keep them from becoming contaminated and overwhelmed by pollutants. Both point source and non-point source pollution pose a threat to the water supply.

Water Image

Why is Clean Water Important?


  1. 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.
  2. 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 local waterways.
  3. Economy and community: Lansing's waterways are the centerpieces of the community, not only connecting the people to the natural environment, but allowing them the opportunity to connect with one another. There is a huge economic development potential in safe and clean urban waters.

What is Lansing Currently Doing?


Working with the Greater Lansing Regional Committee on stormwater management, the City is working to implement the Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflow program. This effort is addressing the need for separated systems to handle sanitary sewage and stormwater. The Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflow 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 River and Red Cedar River, not only by improving public health and the water quality of the rivers as they flow through the City, but for all downstream community and four of the five Great Lakes. In addition, the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) is actively involved in regional wellhead protection efforts and works with EGLE and EPA to protect our groundwater from contamination hazards that exist in our region.

What Can You Do?


  1. Make the Switch: Both at home and at work, choose natural cleaning products instead of ones that have harsh chemicals, perfumes and dyes that end up in water when washed down the drain.
  2. Safely Dispose Hazardous Material: Expired medications, fertilizers, car oil, paints and other hazardous materials contaminate water when they get flushed down the toilet or washed into sewers. Instead, take them to the county health department for proper disposal.
  3. Pick It Up: Pet waste and litter are not only unattractive to look at, but they also impact water quality. When it rains or when snow melts, pet waste and litter get washed into rivers or storm sewers. Trash breaks down in the water, spreading chemicals used for manufacturing of materials like plastic and metal, which harms wildlife. Pet waste if full of bacteria that can make people sick.
  4. Conserve Use: Simple actions such as turning off the faucet while brushing teeth and only running full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine and make a difference by conserving the amount of water that has to be treated and distributed. Plant native flowers and grasses in the yard instead of annuals or invasive plants. Native plant varieties are adapted to the weather and soil conditions found in the region and will require less watering than non-natives.