Community Partners for Clean Streams

Picture of the Logo for Community Partners for Clean Streams

The Community Partners for Clean Streams (CPCS) program is a voluntary, cooperative effort between local businesses, non-profits, and organizations and the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner's Office. 

The goal of the program is to help identify practical, cost-effective ways to protect our streams through pollution prevention. 

CPCS is a free program that provides information, technical advice, and recognition to participants. 

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

Why Participate?

Environmental Protection Agency studies show that as much as 70% of all water pollution is caused by stormwater runoff. After a rain, water flows over roofs, parking lots, lawns, streets, and sidewalks. As the rain flows over land, it picks up and carries a variety of pollutants including leaves, oils, pesticides, pet waste, and more. Learn more about these pollutants. 

Stormwater and these pollutants then flow into storm drain pipes that lead directly into nearby streams. The best way to protect Washtenaw County streams is to prevent pollution before it ends up in stormwater. One way to do that is to keep our sites free of pollutants like trash, oils leaking from cars and equipment, and runoff from materials stored outdoors – unprotected from rain and snow. Another way to do that is to build green infrastructure, like rain gardens, that will let stormwater soak into the ground instead of going into a storm drain.

How to Apply  

  1. Fill out an online application form or contact Catie Wytychak by phone at (734) 222-6813 or email at [email protected]
  2. Meet with a staff member to do a water quality assessment on-site. During the assessment, current practices that may affect water quality are reviewed. 
  3. After the application is filled out and a site assessment has been done, we create a Water Quality Action Plan that notes work that is currently being done and outlines recommendations for changes that can be made to your site to protect water quality.

The application and site visit will focus on the following areas, all of which can have an impact on water quality: 

  • Education and Community Leadership  
  • Stormwater Management Systems  
  • Maintaining Large Stormwater Systems  
  • Landscapes  
  • Land Clearing and Grading  
  • Maintaining Buildings  
  • Maintaining Vehicles and Equipment  
  • Maintaining Paved Areas  
  • Storing Hazardous Materials 
  • Preventing Spills  
  • Spill Response  
  • Managing Wastes 
  • Fats, Oils, and Grease Disposal


Mini-Sponsorship Program 

As a Community Partner for Clean Streams partner, you are eligible to apply for a mini sponsorship to support a project. Awards are typically around $1,000 and are given to projects that help improve water quality. In the past, projects have included building rain gardens, restoring old rain gardens, building a worm composting system, and more! 

Applications are due on April 15th. Winners will be announced on May 1st and summary documentation is due on December 31st. 

Mini-Sponsorship Application and Additional Information

View reports from past projects:

Educational Materials

Find information on how to manage stormwater systems, landscaping, how to store hazardous materials, spill response, and more. Handbooks and factsheets are available for download in PDF format. These factsheets can be a great resource for sending out information to employees, clients, customers, and/or contractors.

Niki and Linda accept a 2022 E2P2 award

Environmental Excellence Awards

Community Partners can be nominated for the annual Washtenaw County Environmental Excellence Awards. 

This is a way to give recognition to those who go above and beyond to protect the environment. 

Learn more about past winners and award categories on the Environmental Excellence webpage. 

Public Recognition 

The Community Partners for Clean Streams program places advertisements in local newspapers and/or online to recognize the work our partners do to prevent pollution and protect Washtenaw County's waterways.

Person accepts 2022 E2P2 award

Technical Assistance 

We can help design a project for your site that will help keep our nearby rivers, streams and lakes healthy. 

Projects could include a rain garden, a native prairie, a detention basin buffer strip or a natural shoreline. 

After a site visit,  we create a design that includes a landscape drawing, a plant list and some budget information.   

  1. 410 N 1st Design

    Rain Garden or Natural Shoreline Design

    If you are interested in building a rain garden or a natural shoreline, we can help you by creating a design for your site. Read on...
  2. Spotlight Article save the date