100,000 Michiganders remain under GLWA's boil water advisory following Saturday's water main break

Water main
Posted at 5:43 AM, Aug 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-15 16:00:44-04

ROCHESTER, MI (WXYZ) — More than 100,000 people across metro Detroit are still being impacted by Saturday's water main break.

A boil water advisory remains in effect for seven communities in Michigan.

Communities that remain under the advisory include: the Village of Almont, Bruce Township, Burtchville Township, Imlay City, City of Rochester, Shelby Township, Washington Township, as well as one business in Greenwood, and an industrial park in Romeo. The Great Lakes Water Authority is also asking homeowners to not water their laws while under the boil water advisory.

On Sunday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland, and St. Clair counties to ensure that residents get the help they need while the situation is ongoing.

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Marsha Giera of Rochester, an area still under the boil water advisory says this has been a humbling experience.

Officials visit site of water main break | Video courtesy Macomb County Executive Office

"Just doing it for a couple days is a good taste of what the people of Flint have had to go through for a long time," Giera said.

Kevin Williams also of Rochester says the water that usually flows from his faucet is now a trickle.

"Starting yesterday afternoon, we had no water at all," he said.

The Rochester Fire Department was out Sunday handing out water to residents without.

“We saw about 600 residents from the east side of Rochester come pick up water for their use," Fire Chief for the City of Rochester John Cieslik said.

It’s one of the benefits of Governor Gretchen Whitmer declaring a state of emergency.

In a statement, Whitmer said, "we are drawing on every resource we have and taking every action necessary to get impacted families the help they need."

The advisory stems from the Great Lakes Water Authority discovering a break in the water transmission main that distributes drinking water from its Lake Huron water treatment facility.

GLWA says it will take two weeks minimum to fix the problem from the date of the initial break. They say the next step in the process is an engineering inspection of the pipe as the replacement pipe arrived on Sunday.

"Do we need to keep boiling? is it safe? That's what we need to know," Marsha says.

According to Sue Coffey the CEO of GLWA that answer is yes. People who have been impacted should boil their water for at least one minute before use.

"We are seeing improvements over time, but there won't be anything as dramatic as what we've been able to accomplish in the last 24 hours," Coffey said.

The Rochester Fire Department will continue to distribute water on Monday but officials are also asking people to avoid watering their yards as that will also have an impact on the town's water pressure.

GLWA notes they are investigating the cause of the break.