Broken water main frustrating families on Detroit’s west side

Over 40 water main breaks have been reported in Detroit

Broken water mains have been a big problem across the city this winter, and now another break is impacting a Detroit neighborhood while also frustrating families. The problem for people living in the neighborhood on Pembroke Avenue and Hartwell Street is pretty simple; there’s more water flowing down the street than coming out of their faucets.

DETROIT – Broken water mains have been a big problem across the city this winter, and now another break is impacting a Detroit neighborhood while also frustrating families.

The problem for people living in the neighborhood on Pembroke Avenue and Hartwell Street is pretty simple; there’s more water flowing down the street than coming out of their faucets.

“Two in the last month,” said Neighbor Mark Gillery.

Residents say the break is putting them out, literally.

“She’s had to come over to my sister’s house just to take showers,” said Halina Lewis, who reported the broken water main. “You can’t cook, you can’t clean; it’s a big inconvenience.”

Lewis’s sister Katrina McGee moved out of her home Friday (Feb. 25) for those very reasons. The sisters called the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department that day with no luck.

Gillery called and complained as well. He’s still upset by the response on the other line.

“I do understand that the city is behind, but to deem it not a priority is what the issue is,” said Gillery.

Read: Update: Water main break leaves frozen pond on Detroit’s west side

Gillery, his wife, and his kids live at home, but they drive to his in-laws just to bathe.

“It’s hard to wash, take a shower, hard to wash your clothes,” Gillery said. “To me, that’s a priority.”

You can see the lower-than-usual water pressure residents say they’re dealing with in the video player above. And after that concern, is this, what will become of this intersection at Hartwell Street and Pembroke Avenue with cars rolling by?

“The street, as you can see, is crumbling, so it’s just a matter of time between the crumbling and the water constantly flowing and the weight of the vehicles constantly going over the road that it caves in,” Gillery said.

Pamela Osbourne reached out to Detroit Water and Sewage Monday (Feb. 28). They sent out an investigator who promised the community that an entire crew would be out Tuesday (March 1) morning to begin working to fix the broken water main.

There are over 40 water main breaks across Detroit, and the city labels them according to priority depending on how much water residents have.

Read: Water main break disrupts traffic on I-94 in Detroit



About the Authors:

Pamela Osborne is thrilled to be back home at the station she grew up watching! You can watch her on Local 4 News Sundays and weeknights. Pamela joined the WDIV News Team in February 2022, after working at stations in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.