Broken Metro Detroit water main will resume operations mid-September, officials say

Replacement pipe attached; must be filled with water then flushed, disinfected

Crews work to set, fill and grout a new pipe piece replacing a damaged pipe of a water main at the Great Lakes Water Authority's Lake Huron treatment facility. The company announced Tuesday that the main is expected to return to normal operations on Sept. 21, 2022. (Great Lakes Water Authority)

Repairs of the broken water main causing problems for Metro Detroiters since mid-August are finally complete, but the main still won’t be operational for several weeks.

UPDATE: Repair timeline pushed back even further for broken Metro Detroit water main

Crews have finished installing a new 10-foot-diameter pipe replacing a broken pipe piece where a leak was found Aug. 13 at the Great Lakes Water Authority’s Lake Huron treatment facility. That leak affected water pressure in the area, triggering a temporary boil water notice for more than 20 nearby communities. The advisories have since been lifted, but water pressure continues to be impacted in affected areas -- and it seems that will continue for a few more weeks.

The GLWA announced Tuesday that the new pieces of the water transmission main have been fully attached and closed, but the system is not yet ready to return to normal operations. Once crews fill the repaired main with water -- which will require 81 million gallons -- the main must then be flushed and disinfected, officials said.

The water transmission main is estimated to begin operating normally by Sept. 21 -- nearly six weeks after the leak was discovered.

The GLWA water main has been out of commission for weeks as crews assessed the cause of the main break, removed 48-feet of damaged pipe, awaited deliveries of new pipe pieces (many of which were delayed), and installed the new pipe. Now, the utility company is expected to work with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to “implement a flushing and disinfection plan” once the main is full of water -- a process that is expected to “take some time” due to the size of the main.

Water main repairs were initially scheduled to end by Sept. 3, but that timeline was affected by those delivery delays.

Residents and business in affected communities are still being asked to limit their outdoor water usage until the water transmission main is fully operational.

Crews work to set, fill and grout a new pipe piece replacing a damaged pipe of a water main at the Great Lakes Water Authority's Lake Huron treatment facility. The company announced Tuesday that the main is expected to return to normal operations on Sept. 21, 2022. (Great Lakes Water Authority)
Crews work to set, fill and grout a new pipe piece replacing a damaged pipe of a water main at the Great Lakes Water Authority's Lake Huron treatment facility. The company announced Tuesday that the main is expected to return to normal operations on Sept. 21, 2022. (Great Lakes Water Authority)

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