Detroit residents frustrated by unfixed water main flooding street for third time

DWSD crews arrive to work on water main fix

DETROIT – A Detroit man said he's been pleading with the city to fix a water main for years, but a small leak is leaving his street constantly flooded.

For the third time in three years, the street in front of Darvin Aaron's home is flooded. The house is on Sylvan Street near the I-96 and I-94 interchange.

Aaron said the city told him the leak had been fixed, but the street flooded again.

"Flowing water for a whole month," Aaron said. "Constantly."

The water and orange barricades are nothing new to the residents on Sylvan Street.

"This has broken three times," Aaron said. "Once in 2015, again in 2016 and this last time it was Jan. 14."

Clearly, the city's fix isn't working.

"I think they're using the wrong duct tape," Aaron said. "Or bubble gum."

Other than the ice rink that forms when it gets cold, the most frustrating part of the situation for Aaron is that nothing is being done about the leak.

"When I'm at work, I work," Aaron said. "Some people, I guess, just sit around and collect a check."

But city crews are saying, "Not so fast."

A Detroit Water and Sewerage Department crew apologized to Aaron for the inconvenience as they got to work on the water main.

"It's old infrastructure, that's all," Tywan Bailey, of DWSD, said.

The aging infrastructure isn't exclusive to Sylvan Street.

"We just fixed one before we came here," Bailey said. "These guys live in the city. I live in the city, and don't think because this area is desolate we are neglecting it. It's our job."

Crews clamped off the water main on Tuesday. If they decide the entire main needs to be replaced, they'll do that, and at the scene they said it looked as if that could be the case, since the main has broken three times.

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