OAKLAND COUNTY — Each time we pour a glass of water from our tap or run our toothbrush underneath or even fill up the kiddie pool, all we see is something clear and refreshing.
But beneath the spigot, Michigan’s water infrastructure is crumbling and the inland lakes we enjoy are being polluted — that’s the part we as consumers don’t often see.
Well, it’s time to see.
To bring awareness to the importance of Michigan’s natural water resources, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, the Great Lakes Water Authority and the Freshwater Forum at the Cranbrook Institute of Science joined together to host public events last week in celebration of Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week June 1-9. They call themselves One Water — a regional campaign to create greater public awareness of the risks facing interrelated drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems in southeast Michigan.
The One Water website is packed with information, data and helpful tips residents can use to monitor and protect water systems in their own neighborhood. The motto of One Water is “keep it fresh, keep it flowing.”
At home, residents are encouraged to keep it fresh by keeping storm drains clear of garbage and other debris, as well as contaminants like pet waste and lawn chemicals that could run off into storm drains after a heavy rain, and to keep it flowing by keeping fats and oils out of drains, and disposing just the “three Ps” in toilets — that’s pee, poop and paper.