NewsRegionMacomb County

Water main break repairs to take a total of three weeks, GLWA says

Inspection reveals significant damage than anticipated, more pipe ordered
Posted at 6:21 PM, Aug 16, 2022

ROCHESTER, Mich. (WXYZ) — It will now take a total of three weeks to fix the water main break that was first discovered on August 13th. The Great Lakes Water Authority says inspection revealed the damage to the pipe was greater than anticipated.

RELATED: GLWA pushes back water main repair timeline 1 week; estimated water restoration now Sept. 3

The 120-inch water transmission main distributes finished drinking water from its Lake Huron Water Treatment Facility. With a 10-foot diameter, it’s the largest pipe in the GLWA system. The high-pressure pipe, which can withstand over 200 psi is made from multi-layers of concrete and steel.

"So to make sure we have all that we need, we have asked for another 40 feet of replacement pipe," said Suzanne Coffey, Chief Executive Officer, GLWA.

One of the replacement pipes has arrived from Texas. While the second is currently being manufactured.

"The new pipe is expected to be delivered on Tuesday, a week from today, August 23rd," said Coffey.

GLWA’s Chief Operating Officer, Cheryl Porter says once the pipe is replaced, it will be pressure tested followed by water quality testing.

"There are 2 rounds of testing, each round takes 24 hours, and those results have to be negative for chloroform or bacteria," said Porter.

In the meantime, investigation will continue to find the reason behind the pipe's failure and how to prevent such an incident from happening again.

While water pressure for sanitary purposes has been restored to the impacted communities, Boil Water Advisory will remain in effect until September 3rd.

Meantime, Rochester Fire Department has been handing out bottled water to residents between 11 am to 4 pm, But in some communities, bottled water is in short supply, and the focus is now turning to those in need.

"The biggest inconvenience is cooking and having to boil water for that and washing my vegetables," said Vahrlita Robinson, a Rochester resident.

Rochester resident, Vahrlita Robinson continues to follow the boil water advisory that’s currently in effect for 7 communities across southeast Michigan. Another Rochester resident, William Spezia, has been coming to the fire station to make sure there is enough water for him and his dog.

"I got a friend of mine that’s got me 4 cases from Port Huron that she is hanging on to for me," said William Spezia, a Rochester resident.

Neighbors are also coming together to help each other out. This is the 2nd day Joseph Lorenzi drove his neighbors to collect bottled water.

"It feels good, and they’re helping me too when I need help. Its just a great community and happy to have neighbors like that," said Joseph Lorenzi, a Rochester resident.

The Rochester Fire Department has initiated a service to help the homebound. Captain Gary Pardom spent the day dropping off water to senior citizens.

"They seem to appreciate that someone is caring for them, thinking about them, it's nice to know that you are helping them out a little bit," said Captain Gary Pardom, Rochester Fire Department.

A multiple sclerosis patient, Julia Corcoren was relieved to see this Facebook post by Rochester Police about the home delivery option.

Without the service, Julia would have to rely on family and friends to get her bottled water.

"Calling the fire department and with a reasonable response time, I called and scheduled a delivery within the hour of the call," said Julia Corcoren, a Rochester resident.

The next community over, Shelby Township also has a water distribution service for seniors enrolled in the Meals on Wheels program and SMART transportation services.

Meanwhile, for folks who can drive, Shelby Township has three distribution centers set up that are open from 2 pm. But because supply is limited, it’s urged that residents who cannot sanitize their water take advantage of the program.

For further assistance, seniors and people with disabilities living in Shelby Township can contact the Shelby Township Senior Center and homebound folks living in Rochester can call the Fire Department.