Water restrictions remain in place after incorrect pipe delivered to water main break site

Posted at 8:07 AM, Aug 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-27 08:07:47-04

(WXYZ) — The Great Lakes Water Authority said it is reviewing the timeline for repairing a massive 120-inch water main that broke earlier this month.

That means outdoor water restrictions remain in place for nearly two dozen communities.

According to the GLWA, the order that showed up was not correct.

"We had ordered, ordered it correctly, the manufacturer had identified that what was delivered was not what was needed," GLWA CEO Suzanne Coffey said.

The replacement portion was not built properly, so it's being sent back to the manufacturer. It was missing a layer of thick mesh metal sheathing. It's expected to be fixed and returned Sunday, with the remainder of some additional pipe that was ordered.

It's still too soon to tell how long it could affect the repair.

"It's still an emergency situation, and so it's critically important that you continue to stop that watering," Coffey said.

Lee Sutkus has been unable to keep his lawn pretty green. The boil water advisories have been lifted, but the watering restriction is important so that the water pressure doesn't fall too low in a number of communities.

That includes the eastern part of Rochester, and Shelby and Washington townships.

"It's a little bit weak but not bad. What else am I going to do?" Sutkus said.

According to Rochester Fire Chief John Cieslik, if everyone turned down their sprinklers and everyone took a shower, "the water pressure could drop back down to dangerous levels."

That's why the fire department has a special mutual aid response strategy in place in the event of a large fire.

As for what caused the massive main break, an engineering firm is still trying to figure that out by doing forensic analysis.