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Washtenaw County Water Resources

Who We Are

We keep the water clean in our rivers, lakes and streams.  Our mission is to provide for the health, safety and welfare of Washtenaw County citizens and the protection of surface water and the environment.  It is to promote the long term environmental and economic sustainability of Washtenaw County by providing storm water management, flood control, development review and water quality programs. 

We have many education and outreach programs to keep the water clean – this one focuses on rain gardens.  We teach homeowners to build rain gardens on their property.  These gardens capture runoff from impervious surfaces (roofs, driveways, parking lots) and send it though the garden “filter” to be cleaned before the water replenishes the ground water.  Stormwater runoff is the number one source of pollution in our rivers.

We teach the Master Rain Gardener class to train homeowners to design and install rain gardens on their property.  The result is residents all over the county are happy with their new gardens, while the Huron River receives less fertilizers, chemicals and other harmful runoff.

What We Do

We are local government - in charge of streams, drains and lakes.  The Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner is charged with:  

  • Design, construction, and operation and maintenance of over 500 storm water management and flood control systems (County Drains)
  • Emergency flood response
  • Maintenance of seven court set lake levels
  • Financing drain projects through sale of notes and bonds
  • Managing Drain financial accounts
  • Recovering costs of operation by levying special assessments on private property, local government, and others who benefit from drainage and storm water management improvement projects. 
  • Implementation of the federally-mandated Phase II Stormwater Permit Program
  • Review and issue approval to plans for private storm water systems in new developments and redevelopments.
  • Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control
  • Public Works programs
  • Watershed plan development and implementation
  • Public education and involvement programs, including the Community Partners for Clean Streams Program, RiverSafe Homes Program, and Rain Garden Program.

Brought to you by

United Way of Washtenaw County Volunteer Center