100th Anniversary Logo

2024 marks a significant milestone for the City of Monroe Water System. On March 1, 2024, the Water Treatment Plant celebrates 100 years of providing clean, safe water to thousands of customers in and around the City of Monroe.

After typhoid fever epidemic of 1915 was traced back to the water source, the City Commission - now know as City Council -  recognized the critical need for a water treatment plant. In 1917, the Monroe Water System was purchased from the Sterling Water Company (originally Monroe Water Company). It consisted of a pumping station and distribution system, an on March 1, 1924, the Monroe Water Treatment Plant began operations.

185 BILLION gallons of water into the distribution system. That's 117 square miles, encompassing all, or portions of, 12 communities and more than 16,000 customers.

Our fellow citizens who, like us, are dedicated stewards of water — a precious, finite resource sustaining life. With a renewed vision, we remain steadfast to preserving and safeguarding our high-quality water supply for the prosperity of future generations.

The Journey to a Century: A Timeline

1915 Typhoid Fever Epidemic
1917 City of Monroe purchased the system from the Monroe Water Company
1923 Existing system purchased, plans developed and construction began (1921-1924). Plant included filtration & chlorination systems and 3 million gallon underground reservoir
1924   Monroe Water Treatment Plant begins operations
1948 Water Treatment Plant (WTP) expanded to 8 million gallons a day. Conventional treatment (Coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, disinfection and filtration) introduced

1948 WTP Expansion  WTP 1948 Construction

1951  Fluoridation added
1972  WTP expanded to 18 million gallons a day. Ozonation incorporated into treatment (system photo below)

  Clarifier 3 install  Ozonation Horizontal


1985  Construction of west high SVC pumping station and 3 million gallon underground reservoir
1997 Construction of west high SVC pumping station and 3 million gallon underground reservoir
2006  Meter Shop renovated
2010 Added second river crossing loop and revised pressure zones for South Custer booster station
2024 Expansion of the South Custer booster Station
2024   WTP celebrates 100th anniversary making it one of the oldest, continuously operating facilities in the state of Michigan


The Process

Water Purification Process

From Lake Erie to distribution, there are 9 steps to purify water

1.  Water Intake
  Water is brought in from the western basin of Lake Erie.
 2.  Ozonation
  Added to the treatment process in the late 1940s, ozonation reduces contaminants through ozone's oxidative strength that is injected into the water.
 3. Coagulation
  The chemical water treatment process used to remove solids from water by manipulating electrostatic charges of particles suspended in water.
 4.  Flocculation
  The process by which a chemical coagulant added to the water acts to facilitate bonding between particles, creating larger aggregates which are easier to separate.
 5.  Sedimentation & Clarification
  The process of separating small particles and sediments in water where suspended solids are removed through gravity settling, providing a clarified liquid effluent.
 6.  Disinfection
  Removal, deactivation and/or killing of pathogenic microorganisms in potable water.
 7.  Filtration
  This happens when clear water passes through filters to remove dissolved particles and germs, such as dust, chemicals, parasites, bacteria and viruses.
 8.  Storage
  The water has been treated and is stored in 3 elevated storage tanks and 2 underground reservoirs totaling 7 million gallons of water protected from recontamination.
 9.  Distribution
  The water is distributed into 117 square miles of service area benefiting a population of more than 48,000 people.