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Explore Mid Michigan: BWL Dye Water Plant

Posted at 8:00 AM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 08:22:01-05

LANSING, Mich. — At FOX 47 we explore all of Mid Michigan giving you an inside look into places you might have seen but never stepped into, to give you a feel for the location and maybe entice you to visit yourself. This week we are exploring the iconic Board of Water and Light John Dye Water Conditioning Plant.

The BWL serves more than 56,000 residential, business and industrial water customers. We own more than 800 miles of underground water mains throughout the greater Lansing area. We treat and distribute our water, drawn from the Saginaw Aquifer – a groundwater supply that has been called one of the finest natural sources of groundwater in the United States – from two water distribution facilities, the John F. Dye Water Conditioning Plant and the Wise Road Conditioning Plant.

The Dye Plant’s architecture reflects the art deco style prevalent when it was built in 1939 as a project of the Works Project Administration (WPA). In the plant’s lobby large murals painted by artists Frank Cassara and Charles Pollock depict the beneficial and destructive forces of water. A 32-foot limestone relief titled “Aquarius” rises above the main entrance on Cedar Street, and represents the distribution of water to the city of Lansing.

A chemical conditioning process involving lime and soda ash is used to remove calcium carbonate from the raw well water, reducing hardness from about 400 parts per million, to 85-100 ppm. Water comes from wells located throughout the Lansing region.

Originally the former facility on this site utilized a pumping well next to the Grand River. This method essentially used river water that was drawn through over a hundred feet of soil. The water was distributed with the aid of a standpipe that maintained constant pressure on the water lines, similar to a water tower.

Want to learn more about great things happening in mid-Michigan? Visit the FOX47News Website.

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