Michigan activates State Emergency Operations Center as water main break affects thousands

13 Metro Detroit community impacted by leak in major water main

GLWA Water Main Break (WDIV)

Michigan officials activated the State Emergency Operations Center Saturday afternoon in an effort to better respond a major water main break that is impacting more than a dozen Metro Detroit communities.

The SEOC has been activated to help coordinate “response and recovery efforts of state agencies and local government” after a leak was discovered in a major water main at the Great Lakes Water Authority’s Lake Huron Water Treatment facility. A boil water advisory was initially issued for 23 Metro Detroit communities Saturday morning as crews worked to address the main break. The boil water advisory was lifted for 10 communities and is still active for 13 of them as of Saturday evening.

Officials say Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer activated the SEOC at 4 p.m. Saturday following multiple requests for additional resources from local communities.”

“Our top priority right now is protecting the public health and safety of Michigan residents until this water main is fixed as quickly as possible,” Whitmer wrote in a statement. “I have activated the State Emergency Operations Center to ensure that every possible resource is available to GLWA and the impacted communities to accomplish that goal.”

GLWA officials have been working to repair the broken water main. The boil water notice was issued as the leak in the 120-inch water transmission main affects water pressure for the impacted communities. When a water system loses pressure, there’s a risk of bacterial contamination. As a result, precautionary measures have been taken.

The following communities remain under a boil water advisory as of Saturday evening:

  • The Village of Almont
  • Bruce Township
  • Burtchville Township
  • Chesterfield Township
  • City of Imlay City
  • Lenox Township
  • Macomb Township
  • Mayfield Township
  • Village of New Haven
  • City of Rochester
  • City of Romeo (Just the industrial park, not the entire city)
  • Shelby Township
  • Washington Township

Residents are urged not to drink the water without boiling it first. Those wanting to consume the water are to boil it for at least one minute and then let it cool before use. This advisory is for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and preparing food until further notice.

Water main break (Great Lakes Water Authority)
A large pipe burst, causing a drop in water temperature.

About the Author:

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