Water Department

The Water Department is responsible for providing an abundant, high quality supply of potable water to the citizens and businesses of Portland. The Water Department maintains the water distribution mains and provides funds for development, extension and improvement of the facilities required to carry out its duties.

The Water Department employs a full-time water technician and utilizes personnel from the Department of Public Works for maintenance of the water distribution system as well as for construction and service connections that are done by staff. Some construction or reconstruction projects and distribution systems are of a size or nature, which necessitates contracting these services to outside individuals or firms. The Water Department provides funds for this work.

The water treatment and distribution systems are regulated by the Michigan Department of Public Health. Revenues for all water system improvements and operating costs are generated by water sales and through special fees such as connection fees, system development charges and special assessments.

Contact Us

  1. Rod Smith

    Water Technician

    Phone: 517-647-2948

    451 Morse Drive
    Portland, MI 48875

Water Testing



Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of industrial chemicals that have been used world-wide in common consumer products and manufacturing processes. Two PFAS of concern are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). Some PFAS, particularly PFOA and PFOS are very stable in the environment and the substances move easily into water. They also have potential health implications when present in drinking water at concentrations above health advisory levels.

In 2018, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) initiated the testing of groundwater from all community water supplies in the state for PFAS, including PFOA and PFOS. The testing is being conducted to determine if public health actions are needed. Because of the wide-spread use of PFAS, it is not uncommon to find low levels of PFAS in drinking water supplies. As of October 1, 2018, MDEQ reports groundwater from 744 wells have been tested for PFAS. PFAS has not been detected in 86% of the wells tested. 

The City of Portland provides its drinking water supply from four groundwater wells: PW-4, PW-5, PW-6 and PW-7. On September 25, 2018, groundwater from our wells was tested for PFAS. The City anticipates that the laboratory results will be available in 4-6 weeks.

We are working with our Engineer, Fleis & VandenBrink to develop a plan of action in the event PFAS is detected in groundwater sampled from our wells.  As additional information and test results become available, they will be reported to you and posted on our website at www.portland-michigan.org.

General information on PFAS in drinking water from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and other resources can be found on our website. If you need additional information, please feel free to contact me directly at (517) 647-2931 or at the email address below. 

S. Tutt Gorman
Portland City Manager

For more information on PFAS including possible health outcomes, see the below FAQ sheet from the DEQ or visit these websites:

  • DEQ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding PFAS
  • State of Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) website serving as the main resource for public information on PFAS contamination in Michigan Click here
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR) website including health information, exposure, and links to additional resources Click here
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) website including basic information, U.S. EPA actions, and links to informational resources Click here

Residential Cross Connection Inspections

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) will soon be asking Community Water Supplies to perform Residential Cross Connection Inspections. The first phase of these inspections, will begin with homes that have lawn sprinkling systems and/or boiler heat as those systems pose a higher potential risk of causing a possible cross connection. The City of Portland Water Department would like to encourage you to contact us, if you have either or both in your home. In doing so, you would be helping us to update our records so we can continue to provide you with high quality and safe drinking water for years to come. You can do so by phone at 517-647-2948 or by email.

Please follow this link to the HydroCorp website for information regarding cross connections. The information provided explains what a cross connection is, what you can do to protect yourself, your neighbor, and your community from a possible cross connection event. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about what you can do within your home to protect our water supply please contact the Water Department. We would be glad to help.

Wellhead Protection Program Plan

Throughout the State of Michigan, areas of polluted groundwater are present in almost every urbanized area.
 When contamination in groundwater becomes sig
nificant, human health and economic activities may be affected.
As a result, communities have reco
gnized the need for a systematic approach to groundwater quality management.
A Wellhead Protecti
on Program (WHPP) is one approach that develops long-term strategies to protect a community’s drinking water supply. The long-term management of groundwater quality is endorsed at both the federal and the state level. Specifically, the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act was amended in 1986 to include wellhead protection. Additionally, the State of Michigan provides financial and technical resources wellhead protection program communities. The City of Portland’s Wellhead Protection Plan (Plan) is a “living” document that details action being taken tensure the long-term integrity of the City’s water supply system.

City of Portland Wellhead Protection Program Plan

Water Quality Reports