Detroit residents frustrated over water main breaks across city

'... we’ve had an inordinate number of water main breaks — almost 40'
Posted at 10:29 PM, Jun 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-05 23:18:10-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — It’s been a bubbling issue for some residents on Prevost Street near Trojan Avenue in Detroit. For days they’ve dealt with a lack of water inside their homes. Instead, they've been watching it flow down their street.

“Very, very light water pressure" Sxakeya Mckinley said. "Like doot, doot.”

Mckinley’s aunt lives next to the water main break, a problem she says began last week when a water main broke on the street. It was fixed, but not for long.

“Literally two days later, at night, right over here," Mckinley said pointing to a different spot on the street. "Leaking out of nowhere.”

The city says the initial break was repaired within two days but then this weekend, there was another break. Mckinley and her neighbors have yet to see it fixed.

“There's no way in the h-e double hockey stick we should have to be going to shower at hotel rooms, calling off of work unexpectedly,” Mckinley said.

"We do apologize for the time it's taken to solve the issue," said Gary Brown, director of the Detroit Water and Sewage Department. "In the last three to four days, we’ve had an inordinate number of water main breaks — almost 40.”

Brown says these breaks are all over the city and are the result of intense demand on the system. The increased demand is not only from weekend events downtown like the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, but mainly due to hot and dry weather. There's a lot of sprinkler use and irrigation due to lack of rain.

“We were looking at 700 million gallons per day," Brown said. "We haven't seen that type of volume in a number of years.”

The city says it's bringing in more contractors and paying overtime to get the breaks fixed as quickly as possible, but are asking for patience. Residents on Prevost say they’re running out of it.

“We pay our water bill on time — you should do your work on time,” resident Joann Wiley- Davis said.

The city hopes to have a contractor out to fix the break on Prevost by Tuesday morning and are hoping to have all the breaks fixed in the next couple of days.