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Photo of an underground lawn sprinkler

Make a smaller splash this summer

Summer means playing outside in sprinklers, water balloon fights, swimming in the lake or in backyard pools, gardening and much more. We are incredibly lucky to live by Lake Michigan to supply us with water so we can continue to engage in these activities.

However, we must remember that water conservation is essential and not take our Great Lake for granted. If we want to keep using water from Lake Michigan, practicing water conservation and using water more efficiently are great ways to help our community.

Water shut off valve

Since Lake Michigan is the fifth-largest lake in the world, you might wonder why we need to conserve water. The Holland Board of Public Works strives to operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, meaning we want to keep water rates low and effectively maintain our water resources.

Conserving water will ensure that future generations have access to this resource. In addition, using water efficiently helps keep rates low.

Our water treatment plant is rated for just under 40 million gallons per day, and on some summer days we approach this limit. To upsize the plant would require multiple large-scale projects, such as larger pumps, piping, treatment building expansions, and more. These multi-million-dollar upgrades would take multiple years to complete and result in rate increases for our customers — all just to address the handful of hot, dry days every year.

Drone photo of the Big Red and the channel between Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan.

Conserve time and water with these tips:

  • Water early in the morning between 4 and 8 a.m., reducing stress on our water systems and reducing evaporation.
  • Water your lawn only once or twice a week. Grass roots generally don’t grow in the summertime, so watering for long periods does not promote root growth.
  • If you often run underground sprinklers when you’re asleep or away from home, make time at least once per season to run them while you’re watching the yard so you can look for broken sprinkler heads or areas with low spray volume. These could indicate major water waste that you might not notice in a time you already expect your water use on your bill to go up.

To learn more, visit Next time you swim in Lake Michigan, remember to have fun and use your water efficiently!