Our Water System

The Great Lakes Water Authority operates five water treatment facilities that draw water from Lake Huron and the Great Lakes tributary, the Detroit River.

Recognizing that quality begins at the source, GLWA invests time and resources into the continued protection of our source water. We work with world-class universities and foundations to ensure a level of water quality that not only meets but surpasses all federal and state standards. And a continued focus on environmental impact has helped GLWA become a leader on environmental practices and compliance in the Midwest.

Log into our WAMR portal here.

Capital Improvement Plan

GLWA’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) supports the continuation of major capital asset investments to upgrade the Authority’s aging infrastructure. The five year plan is updated annually to reflect changing system needs, priorities and funding opportunities. Click on Learn More to view our current and historical CIP plans.

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Water Master Plan

In 2015, GLWA, still under the DWSD name at the time, completed a Water Master Plan for the region. The period covered in the master plan is July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2034 with periodic updates. GLWA continues to use this Water Master Plan. Click below to see the final report.



With the Great Lakes as our source, GLWA is uniquely positioned to provide its communities with water of unquestionable quality. We more than surpass acceptable water quality levels thanks to our expert staff’s oversight of quality control, technology and innovative treatment processes.

To ensure public health, GLWA proactively monitors source water through numerous tests and systems, including the Lake Huron and Lake Erie monitoring system. Our early-warning water monitoring system uses cutting-edge sensors to detect changes such as oil spills or chemical leaks, and provide real-time information about our water, allowing us to adjust our treatment process as needed to ensure the high level of quality our member partners depend on. 

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View pumpage data for the current month to date or find previous months in our pumpage data archive.

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The Great Lakes Water Authority, our member partner communities and their retail customers all share the responsibility for clean water.

Water Works Park TOC Levels, 2023

The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) Water Works Park Treatment Plant was recently cited for a treatment technique violation for inadequate removal of Total Organic Carbon (TOC). Learn more below.



Booster pump stations across southeast Michigan
Miles of transmission mains operated and maintained by GLWA
Gallons of treatment capacity per day


Water Treatment Q&A

The Great Lakes Water Authority draws water from Lake Huron and the Great Lakes tributary, the Detroit River to provide water to 112 communities in southeast Michigan.

GLWA’s water treatment process is a 24/7 operation managed by highly-qualified and trained professionals. Once water enters GLWA facilities it goes through various treatment levels, including physical screening, filtration and a final quality check before being pumped out of our stations to member communities.

GLWA provides water of unquestionable quality to its member partner communities. The water we provide not only meets, but exceeds Safe Drinking Water Act requirements, as well as all other applicable state and federal regulations.

The quality of our drinking water is a Shared Responsibility. GLWA, our member communities and their retail customers are connected through a complex regional water infrastructure system that is designed to protect public health.

Learn more about GLWA Shared Responsibility.

A “Boil Water Advisory” is a notification issued by your local community as a precautionary measure. Boil water advisories are distributed if there is a possibility of microbiological contamination in the drinking water system.

View our Boil Water Advisory FAQ.

A “Do Not Use Advisory” is a notification issued by your local community to alert the community not to use tap water for any purpose. This advisory is typically used only in emergency situations.

View our Do Not Use Advisory resources.

After a Boil Water Advisory is lifted, certain steps are recommended before the regular use of water. The following are checklists for different water-use situations.

Water leaving your home goes either to a septic tank or to GLWA’s Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) through the regional wastewater system. At WRRF, wastewater is treated to meet all state and federal regulations before being released into the environment, often times cleaner than when it was originally received.

All the waste recovered from the water is then sent to GLWA’s Biosolids Dryer Facility to be treated and turned into environmentally friendly fertilizer.

Just like water, our wastewater collection system is a Shared Responsibility. We should be very careful before draining and flushing anything. For example, flushing wipes or pills down the toilet could end up clogging our sewer system and impacting water quality in the Great Lakes.

Watch this video to see the impacts of Flushable Wipes on our sewer systems.

Check out our additional resources regarding the safety and cleanliness of our wastewater system.

Water storage tanks help GLWA’s member partner communities in two ways. First, storage tanks can provide water in case of emergencies. Second, they assist communities in better managing their demands on the GLWA system by using less water during peak system hours.  This may save the community money when the tank is filled during low-usage times. The water stored in the tank is then used during peak hours instead of drawing from the system, keeping costs lower for everyone. Some storage tanks are elevated, but many are also constructed below ground. Whether a tank is elevated or below ground, and whether a tank is the right solution for a community, is a unique decision for each member partner.

For more information on water storage tanks, watch this educational video.

Become a Member Partner

Discover how we work with our member partners to create healthy communities and explore the services we provide. Then learn how to connect your community to Michigan’s water provider of choice.