Water Stewardship 

H2O Efficiency

Did you know that a single home can waste, on average, more than 10,000 gallons of water every year due to running toilets, dripping faucets, and other household leaks?  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nationwide, that equates to more than 1 trillion gallons of water leakage from U.S. homes each year.  That's equivalent to the annual water use of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami combined!

We live in a region rich in fresh water resources, so we don’t tend to think of water efficiency as being that important.  We benefit greatly from the Great Lakes Basin and we all have a responsibility to use our water resources with care.  Most of Muskegon County residents draw their drinking and irrigation water directly from Lake Michigan, after which it is treated, and conveyed for miles to our homes where it very quickly becomes wastewater.  When put into perspective, it becomes easier to see that water stewardship is important not only for the sustainability of our lakes and wells, but for our pocket books too. 

So don’t put off fixing that leaky faucet anymore!   And, if you’re in the market for a new toilet, faucet, or showerhead, look for the EPA’s WaterSense label

Stormwater Reduction & Pollution Prevention

Not only is it important to be stewards of our surface waters, but our groundwater resources as well.  As more natural land is converted to impervious surface, such as roads, buildings and shopping malls, the less rain water infiltrates through the soil to recharge our ground water.  It is important to consider these factors and how Low Impact Development can help ensure we aren’t jeopardizing our land and water resources. 
Below are some great non-point water efficiency and stormwater reduction strategies you can employ at your home or business!

  • Rain Gardens:

    Rain Gardens employ native plants to help capture rainwater on your property to prevent stormwater runoff and associated water pollution.  They not only serve to prevent pollution of our lakes and streams, but help recharge groundwater aquifers, serve as habitat for native butterflies and beautify your property.  Learn more at http://www.raingardens.org/

  • Rain Barrels:

    Rain barrels allow you to capture irrigation water and reduce stormwater run-off as well your water bill.

    • Rain Barrels (and Compost Bins) are available for purchase through the Muskegon Conservation District.  Click here for details!

    • Do It Yourself instructions for rain barrel building, courtesy of West Michigan Environmental Action Council

    • Used pickle barrels are available for rain barrel construction for $8-$10 from Wood Recycling near Howard City, Michigan.  Call 231-218-5091 for more information.  You can also purchase used food-grade barrels from DeWitt Barrels, in Marne, Michigan. For more information, visit their web site.

Muskegon Lake Channel & Lake Michigan