City of Saginaw, Michigan

The City of Saginaw owns and operates a world class water system. This system has been in existence for more than 90 years. Originally the source was the Saginaw River. However, in 1946, understanding the need for an abundant, consistently high quality raw water source, Saginaw in partnership with the City of Midland formed the Saginaw Midland Municipal Water Supply Corporation (SMMWSC).

SMMWSC chose Whitestone Point as the location to build an intake into Lake Huron. Whitestone Point is located 8 miles North of AuGres, approximately 65 miles from each city. The original system design was for a maximum pumping capacity of 43 million gallons per day (MGD) of which Saginaw would receive 23 million and Midland 20 million. The total cost of the original project was $10.3 million dollars. Over the course of the last 70 years many upgrades have been made to the system. The present day design has a maximum capacity of 115 MGD with an estimated cost to duplicate of $430 million dollars.

Because of the foresight of the leaders of both cities, Saginaw and Midland benefit from having one of the best raw water sources in the world. The Great Lakes contain one fifth of the world's fresh water supply. This great source water is pumped daily to both Cities where treatment is provided to produce potable water. Potable water is water that does not contain objectionable pollution, contamination, minerals or infective agents and is considered safe for human consumption.


Saginaw is able to produce potable water by means of complete treatment which provides a multiple barrier approach designed to make sure that the drinking water is of the highest quality and safe for consumption. The Saginaw Water Treatment Plant is a conventional treatment plant.

The process is quite extensive and requires the employment of skilled professionals. Water Treatment Plant employees are encouraged to attend classes in the field and obtain WET system operator certifications from the State of Michigan. Operations positions require certification depending on the responsability involved. After complete treatment, water is pumped from the finished water reservoirs to 21 communities in a tri-county service area.

The Saginaw Water Treatment Plant is known not only for the quality of drinking water produced but also for its beauty. Designed in a Gothic style, the Saginaw Water Treatment Plant is a symbol of great pride for the community as a whole.