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Public Water Systems

In 1974, out of concern for the quality of water we drink, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act giving the US EPA responsibility for establishing and enforcing drinking water quality standards nationwide.  The Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act was enacted in 1976 and enables the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to maintain primacy (state authority) over the drinking water program in our state.

Public water systems are separated into three classifications, Type I, II, and III:

  • Type I systems serve 15 or more homes, or other residential living units
  • Type II systems serve 25 or more people a day for 60 or more days a year
  • Type III systems are any public water systems that don’t meet the definition of a Type I or II.

The Genesee County Health Department works in concert with the DEQ in monitoring Type I water systems, and we are under contract to specifically regulate Type II water systems.  We issue initial construction permits for Type III water systems.

This program provides surveillance over water supplies to assure sufficient quantity, acceptable quality, and prevention of waterborne disease.  Staff monitor the water systems for coliform bacteria, nitrates, and on larger systems monitoring includes lead/copper, metals, cyanide, and organic components.  The Division responds to contamination problems and promotes safeguards through public education.  Approximately 4,000 activities are performed annually.

For more information, call (810) 257-3603.