Skip navigation links

July 13, 2018

MSU upgrading campus water system infrastructure

Michigan State University will double its water storage capacity and improve the quality of water flowing through its distribution system with construction of a new water treatment plant and storage tank.

The new plant will filter six million gallons of water daily, including chlorination, fluoridation and the removal of iron, a mineral that over time can clog plumbing and filters and leave rusty stains on fixtures and laundry.

“This campus is in great shape thanks to foresighted infrastructure investments over many years, but the high mineral content of the water was creating maintenance and appearance issues,” said MSU Interim President John Engler. “To continue being a leader we need to bring our water to a higher standard and today are celebrating breaking ground on a project that will do just that.”

In addition to reducing system maintenance needs, the treatment plant will improve the taste of campus water by removing both iron and manganese.

The elevated storage tank will double the storage capacity of the underground tank it is replacing, and save MSU $150,000 annually in pumping energy costs by using gravitational flow.

“Last year we began efforts to improve water quality aesthetics and system reliability to ensure the safety of our university community,” said Satish Udpa, executive vice president for administrative services. “While MSU water consistently meets all regulations, this is yet another instance of MSU’s commitment to improving the quality of life for our students, faculty and staff.”

Project highlights:

  • 11,500-gross-square-foot water treatment plant located at the southeast corner of Service Road and Recycling Drive
  • 2-million-gallon, 150-foot-tall storage tank
  • Construction start: June 2018. Expected completion: May 2020
  • Budget: $21 million from general funds, including $2.1 million contingency, approved by the Board of Trustees in February 2018

MSU operates its own water system and draws water from wells in the agriculture district to provide approximately one billion gallons annually for campus. Routine water sampling for biological constituents such as coliform, inorganic materials such as copper and lead, radionuclides and other substances meets all regulatory requirements and consistently falls well within regulatory thresholds. A complete analysis of MSU’s water and distribution system is included in the 2017 MSU Water Quality Report.