During 2017 summer the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) collected water samples from the Hardy Jennings Drain on multiple occasions for water chemistry and pathogens. On November 13, 2017, MDEQ, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and Shiawassee County Soil Conservation District staff inspected a local dairy farm operation for potential breaches of intended or unintended manure or other discharges that could negatively influence the Hardy Jennings Drain. On November 20, 2017 MDEQ collected another set of water samples from the Hardy Jennings Drain for water chemistry and pathogens.
MDEQ collected water samples and tested for E. coli concentration and confirmed previous Lake Manitou Association findings that E. coli concentrations in the drain are hazardous to human health.
Previous Lake Manitou Association findings were also confirmed by MDEQ in the data below. Through genetic testing, the predominant E. coli levels are bovine and human.
For the year 2018 the Shiawassee County Conservation District has been awarded an $839,828 grant by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in an effort to repair or replace failing/failed home on-site septic systems for residents who reside in portions of the Upper Maple River Watershed, which includes Bennington Township. Lake Manitou Association was excluded from the target area. The grant covers 75% of the cost of repairing/replacing a home septic system that qualifies.The grant was to include water testing in Lake Manitou and the Hardy Jennings Drain in an effort to identify highly probable sources of human E. coli contaminants but this is now delayed. The grant provides agribusiness incentives to reduce farmland nutrient and soil runoff. The offer is for a limited time.
The Lake Manitou Association Board is committed to watershed water quality improvement. The Association Board fully endorses the program which is funded by the MDEQ. Oakland University is continuing their Lake Manitou research of Blue Green algal blooms. MDEQ, Shiawassee Soil Conservation and local agribusiness are actively involved in helping to improve land and water stewardship.