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.
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
- Fill out an online application form or contact Catie Wytychak by phone at (734) 222-6813 or email at [email protected].
- 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.
- 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:
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.
View reports from past projects:
- Thurston Nature Center Rain Garden
- Gallup Canoe Livery Worm Recycling
- St. Luke's Rain Garden
- Thurston Nature Center Planted Shoreline Buffer
- Crossings of Ann Arbor Rain Garden
- Thurston Nature Center Rain Garden
- Emmanuel Lutheran Church Native Planting
- Allen Creek Preschool Rain Garden Maintenance
- Crossings of Ann Arbor Second Rain Garden
- Ypsilanti Township Native Plant Garden at Sugarbrook Park
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.
- Brochures & Information Sheets
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.
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.
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.