SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. – It’s a water problem in several Metro Detroit communities that will take a little longer to fix.
The Great Lakes Water Authority says it will take three weeks to fix the major water main break where over 100,000 people remain affected for a fourth straight day.
New inspections found damage in the pipe, meaning more of that 120-inch main needs to be manufactured and trucked in; The water authority now says its goal is to have the line fully repaired by Sep. 3.
On Tuesday (Aug. 16) at the site, crews began removing the broken pipe that was installed back in 1973, which has impacted seven Metro Detroit communities as they remain under the boil water advisory, meaning they should boil their water before drinking it.
In the meantime, the new timeline for a fix could affect the start of the school year as it will be three to four weeks before residents under the boil water advisory can expect to see it lifted.
Utica Community Schools will open its doors to students on Aug. 30.
Timothy McAvoy, a spokesperson for the school, told Local 4 that bottled water would be on hand for both students and staff.
“We have had past experiences with water main breaks impacting our schools,” said McAvoy. “Our response is consistent and focused on student’s and staff health. We provide bottled water to schools for drinking and preparing meals.”
The district said they had experienced this before, and they have already been providing bottled water to students and staff for summer school and practices.
They said they’ll continue distributing bottled water as they plan on using it to cook with until the advisory is lifted, which may be a bit later than some had hoped.
A replacement pipe is being manufactured and expected to be delivered next Tuesday.
“This means that we will add an additional week to the repair timeline and a week to the boil water advisory,” said Suzanne Coffey of the Great Lakes Water Authority.
The Great Lakes Water Authority says work is already underway. Seen in the video player above are pictures of engineers inspecting the 110-inch pipe and a closer look at the break.
You can see in the video player above just how much work is to be done.
Some replacement pipe is already on site, so crews are getting to work with what they have now as they wait for that other order to make it into Metro Detroit.
Once the repair is made, there will be a water testing period before that boil water advisory is lifted.
If you’re wondering what caused it, GLWA is still investigating.