Water Quality in the State of Michigan

Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes region of the US. It is the only state that is comprised of two peninsulas. The upper peninsula is more sparsely populated but is essential to the state’s tourism due to its abundance of breathtaking landscapes. The lower peninsula carries the majority of the state’s population and plays an important economic role for the US. Michigan is America’s automotive epicenter, housing industry giants such as General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. 


Detroit water, the largest water utility in Michigan and the second-largest utility in the US, receives water from the Detroit River and Lake Huron. The water supply travels through 2,700 miles of water mains to service Detroit residents and surrounding communities.


Water Hardness Summary

Michigan water is considered hard to very hard. Detroit Metro area has moderately hard water, at 104 PPM. Grand Rapids, located in the lower peninsula has hard water according to USGS standards at 380 PPM.


For more information on water hardness in specific cities, please see table below.



City Water Hardness Data
Detroit 104 PPM (mg/L) or 6 gpg
Grand Rapids 380 PPM (mg/L) or 22 gpg
Warren 144 PPM (mg/L) or 8 gpg
Sterling Heights 138 PPM (mg/L) or 8 gpg
Ann Arbor 129 PPM (mg/L) or 8 gpg
Flint 242 PPM (mg/L) or 14 gpg
Lansing 99 PPM (mg/L) or 6 gpg
Kalamazoo 115 PPM (mg/L) or 7 gpg
Saginaw 104 PPM (mg/L) or 6 gpg
Muskegon 116 PPM (mg/L) or 7 gpg
Traverse City 164 PPM (mg/L) or 10 gpg
Battle Creek 152 PPM (mg/L) or 9 gpg
Mt. Pleasant 140 PPM (mg/L) or 8 gpg


PPM = Parts Per Million

mg/L = Milligrams Per Liter

gpg = Grains Per Gallon




hard water issues


Manufacturing and Water Hardness

Manufacturing is the largest contributing industry for Michigan’s economy, accounting for 20% of the state's gross product. The Automotive industry is the state’s top manufacturing industry, with 975 auto manufacturing establishments; making Michigan the top Automotive state in the Nation. Other significant manufacturing industries in Michigan are machinery, fabricated metal products, chemicals, and food and beverage products.


Product processing in most manufacturing plants requires water. Cooling towers and HVAC are imperative to keeping operations running smoothly. Water hardness levels can be as high as 500 PPM; with water hardness levels this high, manufacturing equipment can deteriorate at a rapid pace and experience efficiency loss.


Solutions to your Water Quality Problems

Fixing your water quality issues in the state of Michigan will depend on your specific water source. It is best to test your potable water supply in order to get a better understanding of your water quality. Testing is relatively cheap. The test results will allow you to understand if your potable water has issues that need to be addressed. Common solutions to water contamination problems may include a water filtration system, a reverse osmosis system or other whole home water treatment solutions.


A problem that almost all Michigan residents will have to deal with is hard water. One old-fashioned, inefficient, expensive and unhealthy method to treat hard water is with a salt-based water softener. Most people don’t realize that if you’re using a water softener you are basically removing calcium and magnesium from your drinking water and adding salt to your diet. In addition, many states are banning the use of salt-based water softeners


Alternative water treatment solutions such as “water conditioners” have been gaining popularity in recent years because they are cheap to operate and the best eco-friendly solution for hard water. Hydropath technology, which powers the HydroFLOW water conditioners is by far the most efficient and cost-effective eco-friendly solution to deal with hard water problems. To learn more about how HydroFLOW solves the problems created by hard water, please check out our technology page. You might want to read this blog that explains the difference between water conditioners and water softeners: Water Conditioner vs. Water Softener Blog.