The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) regulates many of the programs that the water department is responsible for. Routine and special water sampling, a valve maintenance program, hydrant flushing and maintenance program, a cross connection control program, wellhead protection program, monthly operational reports and new additions to the plant and distribution system are only a few examples. Licensing for water operators is also regulated by MDEQ. Because of the new licensing requirements, certified operators are required to attend education and training sessions in order to maintain their licenses. MDEQ requires a D-2 license for Water Production and an S-2 for Water Distribution.
Several changes in State water regulations have occurred over the past few years. The Lead-copper rule, an annual fee assessed to municipalities by MDEQ, Consumers Confidence Reports, and arsenic and radon regulations are still looming and will need to be addressed at some time. All of these regulations are mandatory with funding left up to community water supplies through the budgeting process. Security has become a major issue that will add additional costs. The city has contracted with the consulting firm of Ayres, Lewis, and Norris & May to conduct water system vulnerability study to determine how vulnerable the water system is to acts of bioterrorism. This study is Federal mandated and must be completed and submitted to the EPA by June 30 2004.