Bay Area Water Treatment Plant

Do You Know Where Your Water Comes From?

It’s easy to take for granted that when the kitchen faucet is turned on, fresh water comes out. But have you ever wondered where that water comes from or what it goes through before it gets to your house? Let’s start at the beginning with the raw (untreated) water source.

Raw water is purchased  from the Saginaw-Midland Municipal Water Supply Corporation. They take Lake Huron water from Whitestone Point, chlorinate it, and pump it 50 miles to the Bay Area Water Treatment Plant for filtration. The location of the intake (where water is pulled from) was chosen because of the high-quality water normally found there.

The raw water system and pipeline is owned by the cities of Saginaw and Midland. Prior to the pipeline, both cities were getting their water from rivers and wells. Quality wasn’t great, so they decided to work together on a solution. Water began flowing in 1948 and has continued now for almost 75 years.

Bay County started purchasing raw water from the corporation in 2015. Prior to that, Bay County water came from the Saginaw Bay. The Saginaw Bay was and is  susceptible to contamination, and tap water quality varied throughout the year. For example, it used to be common for water to have a musty smell in the summer due to algae growth. Quality problems like this have almost completely disappeared since connecting to the Saginaw-Midland pipeline. In fact, Bay County won a best tasting water competition in 2021.