U. S. Geological Survey - Michigan Water Science Center

USGS Michigan Water Science Center

Water for a Rapidly Growing Urban Community--Oakland County, Michigan

Prepared in cooperation with Oakland County and the State of Michigan

By: F.R. Twenter and R.L. Knutilla

US Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 2000

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Oakland County includes an area of 899 square miles in southeastern Michigan. The southern part of the country is overlapped by the suburbs of the city of Detroit. In 1970, about 850,000 people were living in the county and using about 100 million gallons of water a day. More than 80% of the water used for large industrial and municipal supplies came from Detroitís water system. The average annual rate of stream flow from the county is about 370 million gallon per day (575 cubic feet per second). Median annual 7-day low flows range from 0 to 0.25 cfs per square mile. Low flows can be augmented by more than 60,000 acre-feet of water captured during high streamflow by construction of small reservoirs at 21 inventoried sites. Glacial deposits and the marshall sandstone are the prime sources of groundwater. Most wells that penetrate the full thickness of glacial deposits in the northwestern part of the county will yield at least 50 gpm(gallons per minute), and many will yield more than 400 gpm. The marshall sandstone, which occurs only in the holly area, is capable of yielding more than 1,000 gpm. The chemical quality of both surface and groundwater is relatively good throughout the county. Only in the southern part of the county is the dissolved solids above the acceptable standard of 500 milligrams per liter. (WOODARD-USGS)


Twenter, F.R., and R.L. Knutilla, 1972, Water for a Rapidly Growing Urban Community--Oakland County, Michigan: Date Posted: August 3, 2005, U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 2000, 150 p.[http://mi.water.usgs.gov/pubs/WSP/WSP2000/]


Definition of terms
1. Oakland County
Water-the purpose of this report
Sphere of investigation
2. The changing scene
The shifting population
3. Water use
More people-more water
Industrial water use
Irrigation water
Water from Lake Huron
4. A replenishable resource
Hydrologic cycle
The source is replenished
5. An interwoven system
Land and water
Some interrelationships
A water budget for a small basin
How man can change nature's budget
6. Water on the land
Surface water-a prime asset
Flow duration
Streams at low flow
High flow-another aspect of streams
Floods-how often?
Water storage
Streamsfor storage
Additional storage in lakes
A study of six lakes
Ground water for lake-level improvement
7. Water in the ground
Characteristics of the container
Water in glacial deposits
Influence of the bedrock surface
Bedrock formations that yield water
Depth to water
Artesian conditions
Water levels and pumping
How much water?
8. Water quality-A prime concern
What is good water?
Good water in Oakland County
Water quality control
9. The water-resources picture
A review-a look ahead
Water-quality control
Lake-level improvement
Streamflow augmentation
Flood-plain management
Redefinition of ground-water reservoirs
Use of water from Detroit
Collection and anlaysis of basic information
10. For more information

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For further information, contact:
Jim Nicholas, Director
U.S. Geological Survey
Michigan Water Science Center
6520 Mercantile Way, Suite 5
Lansing, MI 48911-5991
or visit our Web site at:

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