Environmental Protection



In Ann Arbor, there are two types of systems that handle sewage and stormwater: sanitary sewers and stormwater drainage systems. A sanitary sewer system is designed to transport wastewater from homes, offices, restaurants, and shops to the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), where it is treated before being discharged to surface water bodies. Stormwater drainage systems are designed to transport surface runoff from rainstorms and snowmelts into lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds. Water that enters the stormwater drainage system is not treated before being discharged into surface waters.

The City of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan use both a sanitary sewer and a stormwater drainage system.

The City of Ann Arbor Sanitary Sewer System & Wastewater Treatment Plant
The Ann Arbor WWTP receives its input from the City's sanitary sewer system. The sanitary sewer collects wastewater from residential, commercial, industrial, and campus facilities. Wastewater that reaches the Ann Arbor WWTP through the sanitary sewer is treated in a number of ways before being discharged to the Huron River. Dirt and debris, bacteria, organic material, and nutrients that have potential to cause adverse environmental and human health effects are all removed from wastewater before it is released from the plant.

The citizens of Ann Arbor rely on the WWTP to help maintain the integrity of the Huron River. The WWTP analyzes the influent and effluent of the plant daily, to ensure the effectiveness of its treatment processes and their compliance with federal and state regulations. The following links offer more information regarding the WWTP and its operations: