City of Wayland

Important Alert

Water & Sewer

965 S. Main St.
Wayland, MI 49348

For Billing Questions or Concerns call: 269-792-2265


Ben Bachelder, Superintendent of Water & Waste Water
Stan Gulch, Crew Leader
Tom Reurink, Plant Operator


The Water/Sewer Department is responsible for, but not limited to:
Installing new water service
Meter reading
Water main and valve repair
Fire hydrant flushing
Fire hydrant installation and maintenance
Installation of new water mains
Curb stop repair
Repair of existing water service


Water & Sewer Information

Occasionally, we receive resident questions or complaints regarding the appearance of their drinking water, specifically iron-tinted discolored water. There are two major sources that can cause water to be discolored; flow changes in the water mains caused by a main leak or an open fire hydrant, and/or the water pipes on your property, often from a failing hot water heater.

Iron-tinted discolored water may occur because of sediment in the pipes or rust which has built up on the inside walls of older water mains. This sediment can be disturbed and subsequently suspended in the water due to an increase or change in water flow which may be caused by water main breaks, routine maintenance, flow direction changes or the use and flushing of nearby hydrants. Failing hot water heaters are also a source of discolored water. If the discoloration comes only when you run the hot water, check the condition of your hot water heater. Discolored water from the cold water faucet usually signals an issue with the water mains in the street or the property's internal plumbing.

Discolored water is not a health threat even though it is not very appealing to drink. Even very low levels of iron can color the water. Discolored water can be a chronic problem in areas where there are older cast iron water mains. Replacement, rehabilitation and cleaning of these older water mains will provide relief, however such solutions are expensive and take time.

The Water Department recommends that you flush your water until you get clear water from the water main. If it is still discolored after several minutes of flushing, you may need to wait a couple of hours until the sediment settles, and the water in the main clears. Then try flushing again. If it does not clear up within a few ho ours, please call the Water Department at 269-792-0686. The Water Department may need to flush the water main.

When water is discolored, it is recommended to NOT do laundry or run hot water (to prevent sediment getting into your hot water tank). If it is necessary to do laundry, use a stain remover or a regular detergent with the wash. Use of chlorine bleach is NOT recommended, as this could make the situation worse.

As part of the City's water maintenance program, Water Department employees annually flush all of the fire hydrants in the City.  Typically, the flushing of fire hydrants commence in (month xxxx) and continues until (month xxxx).  Work is done between 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Our water system is an integrated water system, which you may notice that your water service is affected even when hydrants are being flushed several blocks away.

During the flushing process, there may be a slight discoloration of the water caused by sediment in the water mains.  We will take every precaution to minimize this condition.  If you do experience discoloration, your water will clear up in a short time.  We suggest that, on days that we flush, you may not want to do laundry during the day.  Possible discoloration in the water can permanently stain light-colored clothing.  Please note that your water is safe for ALL other uses. 

Should you experience rusty colored water, we suggest to run the cold water from the faucet nearest to the water meter (laundry tub, outside faucet) to restore a clear water supply.  Again, run the cold water only.

The City conducts yearly flushing of hydrants for several reasons that include:

  • Safety - to ensure proper pressure at each hydrant
  • To clean out some of the rust and sediment that settle naturally in the water system
  • To document acceptable pressure at all fire hydrants for insurance purposes
  • To do preventative maintenance

The residents of the City of Wayland rely on groundwater as their source for drinking water.  Thus, a voluntary program Wellhead Protection Program (WHPP) was established along with a team to oversee the program.  The goal of the WHPP is to protect the City's drinking water from contamination. 

Wellhead Protected Areas (WHPAs) were established for the City's municipal wells.  From the outer edge of this area, it would take 10 years for contamination to reach the City's wells.  Potential and existing sources of contamination were identified and mapped within the WHPAs.  Public education and management activities have been implemented to educate the public about the importance of groundwater protection.

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is a great resource and provides a variety of information related to Wellhead Protection.


  • Properly plug abandoned wells on your property.
  • Be aware of dangerous household hazardous chemicals and never dump them directly on the ground.
  • Consider alternatives to household products that contain hazardous materials.
  • Participate in a Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Day.
  • Recycle used motor oil, brake and transmission fluid. May service stations will accept used oil.
  • Pick up and dispose of animal waste.
  • Follow instructions and soil test recommendations when using pesticides and fertilizers. Over-application is harmful.
  • If you have a private well, test your water annually.
  • If you have a septic system, have it checked every other year to ensure that it is functioning properly. Septic systems should be pumped every three years.
  • Get involved in the Wayland Wellhead Protection Program.
  • Inform the City of Wayland of potential sources of contamination.