GLWA extends main repair timeline, local irrigation bans persist

Posted at 8:36 PM, Aug 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-29 20:40:22-04

TROY, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Great Lakes Water Authority on Monday announced it's extending its repair timeline of a 120-inch water main break.

The break happened Aug. 13 at GLWA's Lake Huron facility. GLWA said the fix now extends beyond Sept. 3, but an actual date can’t be predicted.

That means irrigation bans are still in place for several communities in order to preserve water pressure.

Troy resident Orville Palawski told 7 Action News, “Mother nature takes care of mine. I never did water grass.”

The 97-year-old said he’s been unphased by the city of Troy’s irrigation ban and has been honoring it by default. At the city’s request, and ultimately GLWA's request, residents in Troy and several other metro Detroit communities are asked not to water their grass in order to preserve water pressure for communities affected by the water main break.

“Having that irrigation ban really helped. We’re saving about 10 million gallons in peak hour in the morning just with our irrigation ban,” Kurt Bovensiee, Troy's Public Works Departnent director, said.

He said the city’s approach is education not enforcement.

“Help them understand that the reason why we’re doing this is so that everyone does have water and we don’t have to boil it," Bovensiee explained.

GLWA’s Chief Operating Officer Cheryl Porter said the irrigation ban has been crucial while the water authority waits for the remaining piece of pipe.

“So, we still consider ourselves in an emergency situation. We are working to effectuate a repair," she said.

One piece that had to be returned came in again on Sunday, and she said the final piece should arrive either Tuesday or Wednesday. However, Porter said the repair won’t be done before Sept. 3.

“We don’t want to give another estimation on the timeline until we have received all the segments of pipe that we know we need,” she said.

Once the repair is done, Porter said they’ll have to pressure test, flush the system and do water quality testing.

“We understand the impact this is having on communities. We are sorry for that. This is our normal protocol of business to be responsive to this type of emergency, and so we are working feverishly to try to get it done as quickly as possible.”