Groundwater Management & Wellhead Protection
With only 1% of the water on Earth being useable, the majority is groundwater, making it one of our most valuable but under-appreciated natural resources. Groundwater is used for drinking water by more than half of the people in the U.S. and is especially essential in the Greater Lansing area, where it makes up 99% of our drinking water resources. We recognize the importance of groundwater quality and lead a variety of efforts to address its management and protection in our region.
The Groundwater Management Board
Since 1982, Tri-County has hosted the Groundwater Management Board (GMB) to discuss policy matters, land use, and/or water development projects that may have a potential impact on groundwater resources and management in the region. The GMB's mission is to provide a multi-jurisdictional forum for coordination and cooperation to help assure adequate quantities and qualities of groundwater are available to meet regional needs.
Wellhead Protection Viewer
In partnership with the GMB, Tri-County also maintains a Wellhead Protection Viewer (WPV). This interactive online mapping application provides a variety of data – including well locations, time of travel areas, potential contamination source locations, brownfields, and more – to municipalities so they can be better informed when making development decisions that may affect our region's groundwater resources. For additional information or technical support, please contact us.
For the last 25 years, Tri-County and the GMB have been recognized as a Groundwater Guardian by the Groundwater Foundation for our efforts in groundwater protection. Throughout our agencies’ history, Tri-County and the GMB have coordinated to provide in-kind support, staff resources, and/or funding for a variety of projects, events, and outreach activities to promote groundwater research, stewardship, and informed decision-making, and educate residents and community leaders about their role in protecting this valuable resource. Read on to learn more about our project history, or visit the GMB webpage to get involved with our current efforts!
Ingham County Groundwater Survey
Tri-County Water Policies and Programs Guide
Wellhead and Groundwater Protection Audit Tool
the identification of goals and objectives for improving or maintaining groundwater quality;
the identification of specific strategies that will allow the community to meet their stated goals and objectives;
an examination of ordinances/policy pertaining to groundwater protections; and
an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to aid in the identification of barriers and to gauge room for improvement.
Wellhead Protection Programs
- Groundwater protection training series for local planners, engineers, and decision makers
- Gap analysis studies on best management practices and long-term sustainability
- Developing sources of readily-available water and environmental data for community access
- Social media campaigns on groundwater education
- A series of groundwater education presentations for policy and decision makers
- Movie advertisements for local education on the value of groundwater
- A permanent local groundwater display for children’s education at Impression 5
- The creation and maintenance of the Wellhead Protection Viewer
- Potential Contamination Source Inventory updates for Wellhead Protection Plans
Capital Area Groundwater Alliance
Established in 2000, the Capital Area Groundwater Alliance (CAGA) was comprised of Greater Lansing communities involved in wellhead protection and worked toward coordinating efforts on their wellhead protection programs, outreach, and projects. One of CAGA's primary goals was to establish a recognizable entity for wellhead protection efforts across multiple communities and to formalize their relationships and activities.
Regional Aquifer Study
Children's Water Festival
Water Regionalization Study
Community Presentations & Knowledge Sharing
- Hosted Kaitlyn Kiessling of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to present on the MiWell program
- Hosted Tim Faas to give an overview of the MI WARN Program
- Formed a working group on reviewing well abandonment, started by reviewing sanitary codes
- Hosted the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to speak to GMB members about the Source Water Protection Grant and its future status due to increased attention on PFAS in groundwater
- Hosted Dr. Susan Masten of Michigan State University to give a presentation on lead and other groundwater contamination in Ingham County
- Hosted Dr. Kurt Guter and his two high school students, Hudson Yiu and Luke Schafer, to present the results of a Williamston High School microplastics study
- Formed the GMB Geothermal Working Group to advise on the drafting of EGLE’s statewide geothermal legislation
- Hosted Lois E. Graham, R.S., M.S.A. of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to present on Michigan’s Statewide PFAS Sampling Effort
- Hosted Mr. Tim Bowlin, Chief Financial Officer and Project Manager of the Michigan State Capitol Commission, to speak on his background and the geothermal project happening at the Michigan Capital Building
- Co-signed Pariana Groundwater Discharge Permit Letter with Tri-County to EGLE