Water Resources

Address Calhoun County Building
315 West Green Street
Marshall, MI 49068
Phone 269-781-0790
Fax 269-781-0647
Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Friday: by appointment only
Elected Official Ron Smith, Water Resources Commissioner
Appointed Official Brittany Carrier, Chief Deputy Water Resources Commissioner
Staff Brenda Mehaffey, Clerk-Typist
Shela Kalemkiewicz, Water Resources Coordinator

The Water Resources Commissioner is a statutory officer elected on a partisan basis every four years. The Water Resources Commissioner is responsible for the administration of the Drain Code of 1956, as amended. The duties of the Water Resources Commissioner include the construction and maintenance of drains, determining drainage districts, apportioning costs of drains among property owners, and receiving bids and awarding contracts for drain construction. The Water Resources Commissioner also approves drainage in new developments, subdivisions, maintain court-ordered lake levels, and administers the Municipal Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit for the County.


County Drains
Court Ordered Lake Levels
Goguac Lake Level Remote Monitoring System
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit

County Drains

The County Water Resources Commissioner (WRC) and staff are responsible for the establishment, construction and maintenance of approximately 500 storm water management systems (County Drains) in Calhoun County, which accounts for approximately 750 miles of open and enclosed county drains.

These systems are designed to provide storm water management, drainage, flood prevention and stream protection for urban and agricultural lands. The Water Resources Commissioner also develops standards and specifications for management of storm water runoff in new developments and protecting receiving waters.

The Water Resources Commissioner is responsible for compiling all accounting records of financial activities for county drains and for preparation and maintaining records of the establishment and operation of all county drains.

Major drain projects are initiated through a petition process. The Water Resources Commissioner may in any one year, without petition, expend up to $5,000.00 per mile, per drain for maintenance and repair. To recover costs, special drain assessments are levied against property owners, local governments, county roads, railroads and state highways benefited by the construction and/or maintenance. If at any time the drain fund of a drainage district contains less than $5,000 per mile of drain the Water Resources Commissioner can assess up to $2,500 per mile of drain for future drain maintenance costs.

The Water Resources Commissioner is responsible for review and approval of storm water management systems in platted developments under the Michigan Land Division Public Act 591 of 1996 and for private development in response to local government ordinance requirements. The Water Resources Commissioner has the authority to ensure that established drains and natural water courses, both inside and outside of the plat, be improved or protected to the standards and specifications established by the Water Resources Commissioner.

The Water Resources Commissioner serves on a statutory drainage board to oversee the management of drains established under Chapter 6 and maintained under Chapter 21 of the Michigan Drain Code. This Intercounty drainage board consists of the Commissioner of each county involved and a Department of Agriculture representative, who acts as chairperson of the Intercounty drainage board.

Court Ordered Lake Levels
The WRC is also responsible for the operation and maintenance of nine lake level control facilities located within the county. These facilities include a simple construction of an outlet pipe to the complex construction of a diversion dam and dual wells to maintain lake levels on these lakes. The Water Resources Commissioner and Drain Inspector regularly check lake levels, turn well(s) on and off and ensure that inlets and outlets are flowing properly when needed.

Goguac Lake Level Remote Monitoring System
In an effort to reduce the need for frequent inspections to monitor the water level at Goguac Lake and to make the information accessible to anyone, we have installed a new remote monitoring device.  This will enable any interested individual to access lake elevation data, temperature, etc. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  All you need to do is visit www.hydrovu.com and log in using the following information:

Email:  cclakelevels@gmail.com
Password:  Lakelevels#1



Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit
Water is something we often take for granted. From the lakes and streams we play and fish in, to the water we use every day to clean and nourish our bodies, water plays an important role in our lives. It’s a natural resource that we simply can’t live without. That’s why it’s our responsibility to protect our water resources for the next generation. In order to do that, we need to better understand the water cycle and how it works.

In an urban environment, storm sewers are the main source of pollutants, draining virtually everything from lawns, streets, and parking lots directly into local surface waters. Storm water is not cleaned and is known as Nonpoint Source pollution. Common contaminants include: fertilizers, pesticides, grass clippings, leaves, oil, grease, toxic chemicals, sediment, and bacteria from livestock and pet waste. As a matter of fact, too much phosphorus is making its way into the Kalamazoo River Watershed causing increased algal blooms and lower oxygen levels affecting aquatic life.

To help address the problems caused by storm sewer system discharges into local waterways, the Water Resources Commissioner manages a permit through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) for Calhoun County. The Water Resources Commissioner is a primary member of the Battle Creek Area Clean Water Partners. The Battle Creek Clean Water Partnership is the City of Battle Creek; the City of Springfield; the Calhoun County Water Resources Commissioner; the townships of Bedford, Emmett, Leroy, Newton, and Pennfield, the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center, and Battle Creek Area Schools joining together with the common goal of protecting the waterways in our area. For more information, visit http://www.bcwater.org.