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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities

Process

MSU water comes from 18 groundwater wells, each over 340 feet deep. Before being delivered to the various buildings on campus, most of the Michigan State University water is treated: chlorine is injected to disinfect it, fluoride is added to promote strong teeth and bones, and phosphate and caustic are added to protect pipes and fixtures against corrosion. Non-treated water is used for irrigation and other mostly non-potable processes.

A critical process that requires water is the production of steam at the power plant. Water is converted to steam and used in the plant to power turbine generators to make electricity. After it is emitted from the turbines, that steam is then sent from the power plant to other buildings on campus for heating, air conditioning and other processes specific to building functions.

After the steam has served its purposes in the buildings it is condensed back into liquid form (called condensate) and sent back to the power plant, turned back into steam, and the cycle continues. Approximately 90% of the steam sent out to campus is returned as condensate. In the power plant it is preferable to use condensate rather than “raw” water, because condensate does not have to go through an expensive deionization process to remove the dissolved minerals that are natural components of drinking water.

Hardness

The IPF Power and Water department supplies potable drinking water to most campus buildings. It originates from the Saginaw Aquifer, a large groundwater resource for much of Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties. This water is of naturally high quality but contains dissolved minerals that can affect its color and hardness.

While the water meets all health and safety standards, some consumers choose to remove the excess minerals through a water-softening process out of personal preference, while other customers soften their water for practical reasons such as for use in laboratories and certain types of equipment.

MSU offers some living options where a softened water supply is available. Contact Residential and Hospitality Services if you are interested in learning about these options.

Statistics

(1,000 gallons)

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Produced

1,3431376

1,366,011

1,240,121

1,206,196

1,236,686

Distributed

1,201,587

1,209,788

1,093,517

988,430

1,001,315

Purchased

52,608

51,949

54,710

53,850

50,630

Commodity rate

(1,000 gallons)

 

Fiscal year
'11-'12

Fiscal year
'12-'13

Fiscal year
'13-'14

Fiscal year
'14-'15

Fiscal year
'15-'16

Water/Sewage 

$3.60

$4.26

$3.88

$4.25

$5.05