Water Safety and Quality

blue water

MSU’s water treatment process consists of the addition of small quantities of chlorine, fluoride, phosphate and sodium hydroxide. These treatment techniques are used to promote public health and to improve the aesthetic quality of the water in the distribution system and buildings.

Most MSU water drawn from 15 groundwater wells is treated with chlorine to disinfect it, fluoride to promote strong teeth and bones, and phosphate and caustic to protect against corrosion. Non-treated water is used for irrigation and other mostly non-potable processes.

In addition to the water treatment and testing listed above, MSU each year flushes the distribution systems, which contain about 74 miles of pipes that range from 6 to 16 inches in diameter. This helps remove naturally occurring iron sediment that is associated with the ground water that settles in the main lines, lessening the duration and impact associated with the occasional appearance of “red water” on campus.

Conditions that cause red water include increased water flow through mains or changes in water flow direction, resulting in stirred up sediment in the water distribution system. Although the red water is safe and does not pose a health risk, it can stain laundry or impact research activities. The flushing process minimizes red water occurrences to the community as much as possible.


IPF Power and Water
ipf.customer@msu.edu (517) 355-3314