Environmental Services

Environmental Services building


The Environmental Services Department works to improve the quality of life for our citizens. We use sustainable practices to protect the environment, and public health and welfare.

The Environmental Services Department operates the Water Resource Recovery Facility. The facility collects and treats an average of 40 million gallons of wastewater a day. We also oversee stormwater management, green infrastructure, and air quality in the City. To learn more, you can request a tour.

What can you do to help?

Environmental health affects us all. Actions that we think are small can add up to big benefits. Learn more about what you can do to improve our environment.

Environmental Tips

Take a Tour

Ever wondered what happens to your water after it runs down the drain? A tour of our Water Resource Recovery Facility answers that question. It's the best way to learn about the water treatment process from start to finish!

Request a Tour

Since building our waste water treatment facility in 1931, we've changed a lot more than the name. We've worked hard to restore the quality and reputation of the Grand River, our most precious resource.

We treat 40 million gallons of waste water every day and keep all untreated sewage out of the river. And we use state-of-the-art technology to do it in the most sustainable way possible.

More About Wastewater

Our approach to stormwater management has, and continues to change. The old way was all about getting it out fast. The new mantra is slow it down, spread it out, and soak it in.

This modern approach includes:

  • Multiple-use facilities
  • Recreation
  • Wetland preservation
  • Groundwater recharge.

It's a beautiful way to protect the environment and preserve green space in our community.

More About Stormwater

Biosolids are the organic material collected throughout the water recovery process. Currently, we extract this material, load it into sealed trucks, and send it to landfills.

Grand Rapids is a certified Environmental Management System with the National Biosolids Partnership. This modern management approach keeps our operations efficient and protective of the environment.

More About Biosolids

We rely on experts to guide our operations and decision making. These groups review and give feedback on our operations.

Stormwater Oversight Commission

This commission reviews the City's stormwater system. It also makes recommendations for improvement to the City government. Here's a look at the commission's duties:

  • Reviews the current state of the City's stormwater system
  • Reports on stormwater
  • Look over expenditures and makes recommendations to the City Manager and Commission

Stormwater Oversight Commission Documents

More About the Commission

Grand Valley Regional Biosolids Authority

We provide leadership in a regional biosolids management program. Our program is sustainable, innovative, and captures the value of biosolids.

We manage biosolids processing, handling, and re-use. We do this in a diversified manner to benefit the economy, the environment, and society as a whole.

More About the Authority

Utility Advisory Board

The Utility Advisory Board is a regional partnership. Grand Rapids provides water and sewer services to other cities, townships, and other municipalities.

We're always working hard to improve the environment. We have launched these programs and initiatives to help move us forward.

You can check out our water quality islands on Plainfield Avenue or take a tour of the Water Resource Recover Facility to see some city-owned rain gardens. If you're interested in creating your own, visit www.raingardens.org. You'll find helpful tips and some extraordinary success stories.