Restaurants deal with added costs, inconvenience of boil water advisory

Posted at 9:22 PM, Aug 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-15 23:12:31-04

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — It could be two weeks until the boil water advisory is lifted for seven communities in metro Detroit.

The village of Almont, Bruce Township, Burtchville Township, Imlay City, city of Rochester, Shelby Township and Washington Township all remain under the advisory. The advisory started this weekend after a Great Lakes Water Authority pipe blew apart unexpectedly.

More than 100,000 people are still under this advisory, down from more than 900,000 when it first began.

Restaurants that fall under the boil advisory now have to find ways to get by.

“We went to the store, bought a bunch of bagged ice, bottled water, bottled pop," said Bob Stein, the owner of One Eyed Jacks in Shelby Township.

As if owning a bar wasn’t enough work already, Stein has been even busier these last few days. Shortly before his interview with 7 Action News, he went on a trip to Walmart where he bought as many two liters and cases of water as he could.

“We thought it was going to be kind of a pain for one day, we’ll go to the store and buy what we need,” Stein said.

But one day turned to two days, and now two weeks. One Eyed Jacks is like countless other restaurants under a boil water advisory after a pipe near Port Huron blew apart unexpectedly, making the water for hundreds of thousands of people undrinkable.

“It wasn't like a slow leak or anything like that. It suddenly failed unexpectedly,” GLWA CEO Suzzane Coffey said.

Coffey says water pressure is closer to normal, but not where it needs to be. Although the new section of pipe has arrived, the full repair could still take two weeks.

"The first week is really about the repair. The second week is about making sure the water quality is where it needs to be,” Coffey said.

Engineers went in Monday to investigate the rest of the pipe, and hopefully figure out the cause. However until then, restaurant owners like Stein will just deal with the added hassle and extra costs, keeping a positive outlook along the way.

"In the last two years, this is probably the easiest thing we’ve had to deal with," Stein said. "I would much rather deal with this than the other things we had to deal with like being shut down or the supply chain issues we've had to deal within the last few months.”

Below are three water bottle distribution centers in Shelby Township that will be going on until Wednesday between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., or while supplies last:

  • Residents living in the 48315 zip code can pick up water at Whispering Woods Park at 11000 21 Mile Road.
  • Residents living in the 48316 zip code can pick up water at Ford Field Central Park at 7460 23 Mile Road.
  • Residents living in the 48317 zip code can pick up water at River Bends Park (Ryan Road) at 4101 River Bends Drive.