Engineers were at the site of a water main break in Port Huron near the regional water authority’s treatment facility in St. Clair County on Monday to determine a repair plan to restore safe drinking water for thousands who are three days into a weeks-long boil water advisory.
Seven communities, approximately 133,000 people, will remain under a boil water advisory for two weeks while the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) investigates what caused the Saturday morning break. A new section of the 120-inch pipe arrived Monday, beginning the repair process that’s anticipated to take a week to complete.
The 120-inch water transmission main distributes finished drinking water from GLWA’s Lake Huron Treatment Facility to communities in the northern part of its service area. The main is the largest in the regional water distribution system, according to GLWA.
The boil water advisory has been lifted for most communities initially impacted, but it is still in effect for residents in the following areas:
- Bruce Township
- Burtchville Township
- Imlay City
- Shelby Township
- Washington Township
Along with the seven affected communities, a business in Greenwood and an industrial park in Romeo are also under the boil water advisory. GLWA has advised homeowners in the impacted area to refrain from watering their lawns while the advisory is in effect.
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Residents should not drink directly from the tap before boiling water for at least one minute and cooling it first. Bottled or boiled water should be used for cooking, drinking, washing dishes and brushing your teeth.
Crews isolated the main break Sunday, allowing engineers to begin inspecting the pipe and create a repair plan. The replacement pipe arrived on-site Sunday.
Initially, 23 communities encompassing about 935,000 residents were impacted by the water main break, prompting a declaration of a state of emergency by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Sunday for Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland, and St. Clair counties. The declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division to coordinate state efforts to assist Michiganders impacted.
The pipeline is expected to return to service two weeks from Saturday, with one week for repairs and another for water quality testing. The advisory, according to GLWA, will remain in effect until results from sampling confirm water safety.
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel visited the site of the break in Port Huron on Monday morning, where he was able to inspect the pipe alongside engineers and GLWA officials.
“Listening to the engineers and people who understand their craft, you know that they’re on it,” Hackel said. “You know that they’re trying to figure out how to expedite the solution, a solution that’s certain. I’m very confident that they’re doing what they need to do to make that happen.”
GLWA has compiled a FAQ for concerns regarding living under a boil water advisory and necessary precautions.
Contact Miriam Marini: [email protected]