All clear: Eastside Detroit residents can resume using tap water amid discoloration concerns

Detroit’s Cornerstone Village, East English Village, Morningside neighborhoods can flush plumbing, use tap water as normal

(Lars Baron/Getty Images)

DETROIT – Residents of Detroit’s Cornerstone Village, East English Village and Morningside neighborhoods can resume using drinking water after flushing their plumbing amid an investigation into brown, rusty water coming from taps.

On Wednesday, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) announced an investigation into the rusty water coming from taps in the three neighborhoods. Officials said the rust color is due to a disruption in the water pipes in these neighborhoods, causing sediment to enter customers’ taps.

A boil water notice was not issued, but residents were advised not to use the water for drinking or washing clothes or dishes.

On Wednesday, the DWSD said that residents and businesses in these three neighborhoods may resume using the water, but advised them to first flush their plumbing for 5-10 minutes to remove any sediment that remains in the pipes.

To flush your plumbing, the DWSD says to:

  • Remove faucet aerators (screens) from all water taps in your home by turning clockwise to loosen (you may have to use a wrench if you have never taken them off).
  • Beginning in the lowest level of your home or business, open all the cold water faucets, including sinks, showers and bathtubs.
  • Let the water run until clear and then for an additional 5-10 minutes at the last faucet you opened on the top floor.
  • Turn off each faucet starting with the first one you opened (bottom floor).
  • Clean the aerators with an old toothbrush, rinse and reinstall by turning counter clockwise.

If any residents in nearby neighborhoods have also been experiencing rusty, brown water, they should also flush their pipes before resuming use of the water.

Anyone who still has brown water after flushing their pipes should call DWSD at 313-267-8000.

Officials say they are continuing to investigate the cause of the discolored water. Several hundred fire hydrants were reportedly flushed overnight Wednesday until the water became clear again.

The investigation into the discolored water was expanded into Grosse Pointe Woods Wednesday night.

The Grosse Pointe Woods Department of Public Safety said Thursday afternoon that the city of Detroit discovered a six-inch water main break, but are still looking for additional problems with the system.

Grosse Pointe Woods residents are still encouraged not to use the discolored water for household tasks. Officials said that when water is rusty and brown, orange or light yellow, it is not usually a health concern, but rather “one of aesthetic quality.”

Officials say Grosse Pointe Woods residents should periodically check their water every few hours by running it for three minutes to see if it is clear. If the water does run clear, residents should follow the steps above to flush their plumbing.

Reports of rusty water on Detroit's east side

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Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.