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Exterior of the Water Treatment Plant.

Embracing water efficiency

The Holland Board of Public Works Water Treatment Plant has served Holland with safe drinking water for decades. The plant pulls in and treats water from Lake Michigan to serve its customers, but the plant can only manage so much demand.

Superintendent Nate Johnson emphasized the plant is the perfect size to serve the community of Holland. However, overuse of water can be costly to both the plant and its customers.

WTP operator holds a graduated cylinder full of water at the plant.

“It’s easy to think that, since we are so close to a big water source, conserving water doesn’t pertain to us, but the fact that we are so close to Lake Michigan should make customers even more aware,” Johnson said.

“A little can go a long way when it comes to changing your everyday choices to conserve water.”

Lawn sprinkling is the biggest strain on the water, Johnson said. The issue with lawn sprinkling is how inefficient it can be.

“We aren’t here to tell people to stop using sprinkling systems,” Johnson said. “But there are more efficient ways to go about watering your lawn.”

That includes setting up a smart system that can recognize if a breakage occurs, account for rainfall or detect leaks. Being mindful of what time of day you water your lawn can also improve efficiency. Sprinkling your lawn in the early morning or late afternoon will reduce evaporation.

Photo of wildflowers growing in front of the Water Treatment Plant.

The plant itself has switched parts of its lawn to native plantings, greatly reducing how much water is used to maintain the grounds.

Holland BPW engineers have made the water treatment process as efficient as possible. Johnson explained they monitor the processes continuously, serving customers with integrity.

But making efforts in your own life can increase the amount of water you conserve, helping the community and the plant.

“It simply comes down to using water wisely,” Johnson said.