Lake Education and Resources

Learn about our lake and water systems. Explore the links below to learn about valuable resources and help preserve and protect our environment.


Michigan Government

United States Government

Water Education

On September 21, 2015, Lake Manitou Association co-sponsored an information and educational program for area lake residents on how two easy steps can help reduce nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen from entering the lake water. The Association partnered with Michigan State University Extension Service (MSUE) and Lake and Stream Leaders Institute (LSLI) to raise awareness of the need for proper septic wastewater system maintenance and easy shoreline landscaping considerations to benefit lake water quality. MSUE Water Resources Educator, Monica Day has published two articles about the program and Lake Manitou on the MSUE website.

On October 13, 2015, Monica Day (MSUE) organized a Shiawassee County Water Tour as part of an MSUE Fall Conference. The theme was on water quantity, perspectives on uses and the challenges of maintaining water quality. A group of 19 educators toured the Owosso City drinking water treatment plant, Lake Manitou shoreline and the Dutcher dairy and crop farm. Shiawassee Conservation District and Friends Of the Shiawassee River also participated.

What We Can Do!

Tips on how you can save money are included in this article.   At one time or another you’ve probably heard these axioms: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you can’t see it, it can’t hurt you. Neither of these are true, particularly when it involves our home septic tank and drain field. Did you know the average American uses 140 to 160 gallons of water per day? Did you know that 99.7% of the Earth’s water is unsuitable or unavailable for drinking? Both of these statements are true according to a brochure co-partnered by our Shiawassee County Soil Conservation District and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

If our home wastewater septic system is not functioning correctly it could be discharging E. Coli bacteria into the ground water table where it might migrate to your drinking water well point or neighbors well, or flow into the lake, or there’s a probability that nitrogen and phosphorus by-products migrate into the lake which causes excessive algae growth.

Save money in repair or replacement costs and protect our families and neighbors’ health, protect water quality, environment and property values. Avoid flushing “disposable wipes” or “baby wipes” down the toilet. They are too slow to degrade and can easily clog the plumbing.  Repair leaky home faucets and toilets. It is not advisable to have water softener discharge into the septic system. Keep clothing lint out. Minimize food waste into the system, especially fruit, vegetable and melon seeds. Be sure there are no house gutter drains connected to the system. No grease, paints or petroleum products. Have your septic tank pumped between 3 to 5 years, (or sooner if you notice problems). For safety, please be sure the septic tank lid is secured and cannot be broken.

Having your drinking water tested for bacterial concentration or nitrites/nitrates is easy with a test kit that you can obtain from our Shiawassee County Health Department. (989) 743-2392.

The contents of this page were gained from a March 26, 2015, Home Septic System Care program sponsored by Shiawassee County Soil Conservation District, Shiawassee County Health Department and Michigan State University Extension Service.