Did you know the Environmental Protection Agency closely regulates municipal tap water? Ann Arbor’s Water Treatment Plant staff perform approximately 15,000 drinking water tests monthly. Ann Arbor’s tap water is a frequent winner of the regional Michigan Water Tasting Competition, too!
Save Money & Be Green
Besides offering a safe and reliable source of water, Ann Arbor’s tap water is a great value. Refilling a 16-ounce water bottle from the tap costs less than one penny and is better for the environement. You can fill 4,000 16-ounce water bottles for less than one dollar.
Everyone wants to do their part to keep safe, affordable drinking water available in their community. With these simple suggestions it's easy for kids to do their part too!
Much Water is Used to...
Brush your teeth? 1 gallon
Take a bath? 20 gallons
Take an 8 minute shower? 36 gallons
Run the dishwasher? 9 gallons/load
Hand-wash the dishes? 20 gallons
Run the washing machine? 25 gallons/load
Flush the toilet? 5 gallons
- Kids Water Maze Activity Page
Read some water conservation tips below to see what you can do to use less water!
Protect Ann Arbor's Water Resources
The Huron River is Ann Arbor's main source of drinking water. Did you know that the storm drains lead directly to the river, without treatment? Dumping waste into storm drains, ditches, or waterways contaminates drinking water supplies, recreational areas, and wildlife habitat. Plus, it is illegal! If you see illegal dumping, tell your parents and ask them to report it right away. You will help prevent further water contamination and reduce potential clean-up costs.
Clean water should not be taken for granted! Read the tips below and start practicing water conservation throughout your house.
In the Bathroom
Take shorter showers.
Draw less water for baths, try only filling tub halfway.
Don't use the toilet as a trash can: tissues, cotton balls, etc, should be thrown in the garbage, not flushed.
Turn off water while brushing teeth.
Tell Mom or Dad if you notice a leaky faucet
ACTIVITY: Ask your parents to help you check your toilet for "silent" leaks by placing a little food coloring in the tank and see if it leaks into the bowl.
In the Kitchen or Laundry
Remind your parents to only run the dishwasher for full loads
Don't let the faucet run to get a cold drink, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead.
Remind your parents to only run the washing machine for a full load of clothes.
ACTIVITY: Make signs to remind your parents and siblings about turning off the faucet. Use the tips you've learned and ask for your parents' permission to place reminder signs around the house.
Remind Mom and Dad to only water the lawn and garden when it needs it. One inch of water every 10 days keeps lawns healthy and green. Water at cooler times like at night or early in the morning to prevent evaporation.
Adjust water sprinklers so that they are reaching the garden and lawn rather than watering the driveway or sidewalk.
Remind your parents to cut the grass at least 3 inches high to shade the roots, so that it will be more drought tolerant and won't need to be watered as often.
When helping wash the car or your bicycle use a bucket and a hose with a nozzle so that water isn't running during soaping.
Sweep the driveway and sidewalk with a broom rather than hosing it down.
ACTIVITY: make a rain gauge out of a 1 inch tall tuna can and measure water collected from rain and sprinklers. Remind your parents to water less if the can fills up in less than 10 days!
Water Education Resources
Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) WaterSense Kids
How Water Works
Down the Drain
Drinking Water & Ground Water Kids' Stuff
WaterMatters is a quarterly newsletter delivered as part of water bills.
Summer 2020 (PDF): lending a hand with bills; aquahawk takes flight; coloring pages; adopt-a-storm drain; meter upgrades.
Fall 2020 (PDF): AquaHawk tool; adopt-a-storm drain; A2 Zero effort; water meter upgrades; flood information.
Winter 2020/21 (PDF): Water meter upgrades; snow and ice on sidewalks; stormwater explainer; treating snow and ice; Allen Creek Berm Project grand opening.
Answers to Common Questions About Lead
Water Facts and Actions from the University of Michigan Water Semester:
10 Water Facts You Should Know and 10 Things You Can Do to Protect Water Resources
US Environmental Protection Agency groundwater and drinking water
Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment drinking water
The American Water Works Association's tap water website
Water Use Calculator