County officials are preparing to distribute water supplies to residents in seven Metro Detroit communities impacted by the boil water advisory that was first issued on Saturday.
Originally, 23 communities in Metro Detroit were impacted, but further testing allowed for the advisory to be lifted in most areas.
Still, seven communities are still urged to boil water: the Village of Almont, Bruce Township, Burtchville Township, Imlay City, City of Rochester, Shelby Township, Washington Township, as well as one business in Greenwood, and an industrial park in Romeo. That includes about 133,000 residents.
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.
Oakland and Macomb counties are working to distribute water supplies to residents, as the timeline for repair and testing is estimated to be 2-4 weeks.
Oakland County officials told Local 4: “Today we received 55 pallets of water from the state of Michigan and 19 pallets of water from Meijer corporation. Oakland County is the distribution hub for region two north to include Macomb and Saint Clair Counties. Michigan task force one responded to the Oakland county warehouse today where they picked up eight pallets of water for Macomb County. Oakland county will continue to distribute water to Macomb and Saint Clair County for the next two weeks or until the water main is repaired. We also distributed 8 pallets of water to the City of Rochester yesterday which were distributed to residents through the fire department.”
Macomb County confirmed they have received water supplies, telling Local 4: “We’re going to start by making that available to the most vulnerable populations first, and we’ll be doing that in partnership with the local communities over the next few days.”
Water supplies will likely be distributed at local fire stations and city halls. More information on how and where to pick up water will be offered on Monday.
Officials say that crews have identified the location of a leak on a 120-inch water transmission main that distributes finished drinking water from a Lake Huron water treatment facility. According to Great Lakes Water Authority, an estimated 935,000 people were impacted as of Saturday morning. Officials are investigating the cause of the water main break.
As of Sunday crews have isolated the break and have begun the process of removing water from the site to prepare the area for repairs. According to GLWA, the estimated timeframe for repairs and water quality testing is two weeks.
The Boil Water Advisory will remain in effect until results from sampling verify the water is safe to drink.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) at 4 p.m. Saturday to respond to the ongoing water main break.
Officials with the GLWA have been working to repair the broken water main. When a water system loses pressure, there’s a risk of bacterial contamination. As a result, precautionary measures have been taken.
GLWA states that crews will open emergency connections to other mains once the leak is isolated to restore flow to those impacted.