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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.


Why Participate?

EPA studies show that as much as 70% of all water pollution is caused by stormwater 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 sediment, pesticides, fertilizers, pet waste, debris, oils and greases from the landscape. Click HERE for more information about these pollutants.

It is then routed into a storm drain that flows directly into a local waterway. Many people believe stormwater 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 stormwater. 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.

The Community Partners for Clean Streams Program works with Partners on the following activities to find cost-effective ways to prevent pollution:CSP 2

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

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.  CPCS - List of Partners. 

How Can You 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. 

  1. You can apply online or in person. A brief, onsite 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 30-45 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 and Brochures

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

Community Partners for Clean Streams Handbook: Series 1-9
- Homeowner's Handbook

- Paint Pointers Brochure 
- Prescription Drug and Personal Care Product Disposal Brochure
Fats, Oils and Greases Disposal Brochure 

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.


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. 

Mini Grant Program


The Community Partners for Clean Streams program offers mini grants for partners to complete projects that will improve water quality, prevent pollution and/or expand waste reduction and recycling efforts. A few example projects are below:


·         Install or expand a rain garden or buffer strip (along a water body)

·         Retrofit a defunct rain garden

·         Install a rain barrel or composting system

·         Create and implement an educational campaign to employees

·         Purchase recycling containers


 Applications are due on April 15th. Awards will be granted on May 1st and a brief summary of the project is due on December 31st. More information, and the application can be found on the Community Partners for Clean Streams Mini Grant program page.


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 webpage here.



For more information about how your business can participate in the Community Partners for Clean Streams Program, please contact:

Heather Rice, Senior Environmental Planner
(734) 222-6833 or email

Or call the Office of the Water Resources Commissioner at (734) 222-6860

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