Community Partners for Clean Streams

The Community Partners for Clean Streams (CPCS) is a voluntary, cooperative effort between the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner's Office and Washtenaw County businesses, institutional landowners and multi-family residential complexes. The goal of the program is to help identify practical, cost effective ways to protect Washtenaw County waterways through pollution prevention. CPCS is a cost-free initiative that provides information, technical advice and recognition to participants.

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Why Participate?

Environmental Protection Agency studies show that as much as 70% of all water pollution is caused by storm water runoff. After a rain or melt event, water flows over roofs, parking lots, lawns, streets and sidewalks. As the runoff flows over land, it picks up and carries a variety of pollutants including 

  • Debris
  • Fertilizers
  • Oils and greases from the landscape
  • Pesticides
  • Pet waste
  • Sediment

Learn more about these pollutants (PDF).

It is then routed into a storm drain that flows directly into a local waterway. Many people believe storm water is treated at a sewage treatment plant prior to discharge, but this is not the case.

The most effective way to protect Washtenaw County waterways is to prevent pollution before it ends up in storm water. The cost of preventing pollution is generally one-tenth to one-hundredth the cost of cleaning it up, so it is the best practice for both the environment and the economy.

Activities to Prevent Pollution

The Community Partners for Clean Streams Program works with Partners on the following activities to find cost-effective ways to prevent pollution:

  • Education
  • Fats, Oils and Grease Disposal for Food Service Providers
  • Housekeeping Practices
  • Maintaining Buildings and Pavement
  • Maintaining Engineered Stormwater Controls
  • Maintaining Equipment and Vehicles
  • Maintaining Landscapes
  • Managing Waste
  • Site Design and Construction

Who Can Participate

The Community Partners for Clean Streams program is available to business, institutions, municipalities and multi-family residential complexes in Washtenaw County. We have approximately 130 active partnerships throughout Washtenaw County. View the CPCS - List of Partners.

Get Involved

Becoming a Community Partner is customer friendly. Our staff helps you complete all of the paperwork and provides partners with free assistance and technical advice to protect water quality.

Process

  1. You can apply online or in person. A brief, on-site presentation of the program is offered.
  2. A water quality assessment is performed on site by Community Partners For Clean Streams with the Partner. Business practices that may affect water quality are reviewed. This process takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the site.
  3. The Partner's Water Quality Assessment is compiled into a Water Quality Action Plan that is sent to the Partner
  4. Upon receipt of the signed Water Quality Action Plan, the Partner receives a letter of recognition and will receive a plaque indicating participation in the program. The plaque will be presented during the annual Environmental Excellence Awards Ceremony. The partnership will be renewed every five years.

Fact Sheets & Brochures

The handbook and brochures listed below are available for downloaded in PDF format.

Handbooks: Composting

Brochures

View additional Educational Materials.

Community Partners Recognition Program

Newspaper Ads

The Community Partners for Clean Streams program places an advertisement in the local newspaper(s) to recognize the work our Partners do to prevent pollution and protect Washtenaw County's waterways.

Displays

All participating organizations to date are listed on our Community Partners for Clean Streams display, which is exhibited at community events and at local businesses.

Environmental Excellence Awards

Community Partners have the opportunity to be nominated for the annual Washtenaw County Environmental Excellence Awards. The event is cablecast and provides additional recognition to those who go above and beyond to protect the environment. Find out more on the Award web page.