Blog Posts

Blog posts by FLOW team and guest writers

New methods enable tracking of beach contamination sources

By guest authors: Alan Steinman, Ph.D.1 and Charlyn Partridge, Ph.D.2 1Allen and Helen Hunting Research Professor and 2Associate Professor Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University In an email issued earlier this summer, FLOW quite appropriately noted the beauty and allure of our Great Lakes beaches, and also the potential dangers of entering these… Read more »

Why does Michigan need a statewide code for septic systems?

There’s a loose patchwork of septic standards in Michigan Because of the lack of state standards to assure replacement of failing septic systems, some counties, townships, cities, and villages are enacting local ordinances in place of statewide requirements, but they are relatively few out of Michigan’s approximately 2,000 local units of government. Only 11 of… Read more »

Don’t flush that!

Guest post by Michigan State University Extension natural resources and water quality educator, Beth Clawson It is no secret that tossing foreign objects into your toilet or sink drains will plug them up. But did you also know that they plug up your municipal wastewater treatment facilities and home onsite wastewater (septic) systems as well? Across the… Read more »

Free water well testing now available in Michigan

Michigan households relying on private wells may be drinking polluted groundwater without realizing it. Residents can now get their water tested for FREE through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and their local health departments.

Defending Public Trust Rights to Enjoy Indiana’s Lake Michigan Shoreline

Guest authors: Kim Ferraro and Kacey Cook, attorneys at the Conservation Law Center In the 2018 Gunderson case, the Indiana Supreme Court held that Indiana’s Lake Michigan beaches are, and always have been, held in trust by the State as public trust resources, with State ownership extending from the natural ordinary high water mark (where… Read more »

FLOW’s Technical Questions for the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority

The Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority (MSCA) is a three-member panel that is responsible for overseeing Enbridge’s proposed pipeline tunnel project under the busy, environmentally sensitive Straits of Mackinac, pending all applicable permits and approvals. In June 2023, FLOW submitted public comments to the MSCA, to help further public understanding of the purpose, need, and challenges… Read more »

Where do plastic bags and bottles go to die?

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates there are 112,000 particles of plastic per square mile of Great Lakes water. While the specific, causal effects plastics may have on human health are yet unknown and currently being researched, animal studies suggest that plastics and plastic byproducts affect digestive, respiratory, endocrine, reproductive, and immune systems.

A River of Manure: CAFO Sewage Runoff Threatens Water Systems

Guest author Pam Taylor is a volunteer with Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan. Taylor’s family came to Lenawee County, Michigan in 1837 to farm, and some family members are still farming there. She and her brother own a farm that’s been in her family for 117 years, where she lived and raised sheep… Read more »