Redundancy is keeping water flowing in compromised Great Lakes Water Authority system

Posted at 5:29 PM, Aug 18, 2022

(WXYZ) — One-third of the Great Lakes Water Authority system is offline with a 10-foot water transmission line break in St. Clair County from over the weekend.

The system is crippled. There’s no question about if it’s big if one-third of the system is down. GLWA CEO Suzanne Coffey told 7 Action News, “It is. It is absolutely.”

Redundancy in the system is keeping the water flowing.

The system has three water intake locations: St. Clair County near the transmission line break and two from the Detroit River. The water then goes to water treatment plants; one in St. Clair County and four in Wayne County.

The system has a network of lines, pumps and valves to keep the water flowing and water pressure up in the entire system.

“I would never say 100%. But I would say some of the communities are seeing pressures pretty close to their normal pressures, and some of the communities never saw a change,” Coffey said.

Twenty-three communities have been asked not to water lawns, including the big cities of Sterling Heights and Troy to reduce demand in the compromised system.

“It’s a big improvement. Without that restriction, it is dicey. It's tough, right? So, this has really been a big help. We appreciate it,” Coffey said.

Seven communities remain on a boil water alert out of the original 23.