- Department of Public Services
- Central Services
- Water & Sewer Division
- Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA)
Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA)
We are One Water
The Great Lakes Water Authority is your source for water! We are dedicated to efficiently delivering the nation’s best water and wastewater services to southeast Michigan.
GLWA recognized nationally for achieving the highest level of performance in water treatment facility optimization
DETROIT – The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) has received the rarely-achieved Presidents Award from the Partnership for Safe Water (Partnership), a volunteer initiative developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), American Water Works Association (AWWA), and associated partner organizations representing water suppliers to guide water systems toward improving water quality by optimizing system operations and surpassing regulatory standards.
The national award recognizes water suppliers that represent a superior level of performance and has been developed by industry experts to showcase their commitment to delivering safe water to their community. The Presidents Award honors those treatment facilities that achieve very stringent individual filter performance goals for turbidity. The Authority is one of only three water treatment facilities in the U.S. that have achieved this level of performance in their facility processes in the Partnership’s 2021 award year.
“Receiving the President's Award in GLWA’s fifth year of operations is a significant milestone and testament to our team’s ongoing commitment to providing water of unquestionable quality to the people of southeast Michigan,” said Cheryl Porter, chief operating officer, water & field services, GLWA. “This award is a tangible example of the Authority’s dedication to maintaining high standards for water quality and exceptional operations. I commend the hard work and dedication of the Water Works Park team for achieving this honor, especially while operating under the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”
A Big-Picture Approach to Wastewater Management
Detroit-area utility’s wastewater master plan extends well beyond its boundaries.
The Great Lakes Water Authority’s collections and treatment systems cover 944 square miles in three counties in southeastern Michigan and serve approximately 2.8 million people in 79 communities and municipalities, including the city of Detroit.
The thousands of miles of sanitary sewer lines funnel through 86 separate municipal systems before reaching the utility’s Water Resource Recovery Facility, the largest single-site treatment facility in North America. The facility treats an average of 630 mgd but can handle up to 1.7 bgd.
That treatment capacity is supplemented by nine combined-sewer overflow treatment facilities that can treat up to 17 bgd. The system also includes 1,545 manholes, nine pump stations and a biosolids facility that turns approximately 600 million gallons of biosolids into environmentally friendly fertilizer annually instead of incinerating or landfilling it.
Managing such a massive system poses many challenges, says Navid Mehram, chief operating officer for wastewater operating services.
“In some situations, flows are so low that we have to manage the volume of water coming in and make sure the infrastructure can convey it at such a low velocity,” Mehram explains. “In other cases, we’ve built massive infrastructure that allows us to capture heavy flows we receive from larger tributary areas.
Congratulations to our Associate General Counsel Lavonda Jackson on being named one of Crain’s 2021 Notable Women in Law. We’re very proud of you Lavonda!
GLWA Board of Directors approves changes to water affordability and conservation program addressing continued COVID-19 pandemic
DETROIT— The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) Board of Directors recently approved an exception to its Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP) that will assist participants financially impacted by COVID-19. The exception allows those enrolled in WRAP who are unable to make monthly payments on time due to issues related to COVID-19 to remain in the program and maintain eligibility to continue receiving monthly bill credits and arrearage payments through December 31, 2020.
The Board also recently approved changing the eligibility for households from 150 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, and increased conservation and plumbing repair spending per eligible household from $1,000 to an average of $1,500 (with a cap of $2,000) per customer. In addition, for the first time since the program’s inception, eligible rental households are now able to take advantage of conservation and plumbing repairs offered through WRAP to help reduce their water consumption, if the landlord agrees not to increase rent for 12 months. These program changes became effective in GLWA’s Fiscal Year 2021, which began July 1, 2020.