Troubled Metro Detroit water main resumes operations after weeks of repair

Communities no longer asked to limit outdoor water usage

GLWA water main repair (GLWA)

FORT GRATIOT TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The major water transmission main that has been offline in Metro Detroit since mid-August is up and running again as of Monday.

The Great Lakes Water Authority announced Monday, Oct. 3, that the water main -- which distributes drinking water to several Metro Detroit communities -- has resumed normal operations. A leak was detected in the water main’s 10-foot-diameter pipe on Aug. 13, causing the main to close for repairs since.

The repair timeline had been pushed back several times, partly due to delivery delays of a replacement pipe, and partly because the flushing and disinfecting of the new pipe was taking longer than expected. Repairs were initially set to be finished by Sept. 3, then the completion date was changed to Sept. 21 earlier that month. Then, officials said that the pipe wouldn’t be up and running until Oct. 5.

GLWA officials said last week that quality testing showed the water moving through the new pipe met or surpassed regulatory standards, and that they were on track to reopen the water main by Oct. 5.

When the leak was discovered on Aug. 13, boil water advisories were issued to more than 20 Metro Detroit communities as a precaution due to a change in water pressure. Those boil water notices have since been lifted, but those same communities were asked to limit their outdoor water usage while the water main was undergoing repairs.

Those communities are no longer being asked to limit their outdoor water usage as of Monday.

Photos from the water main repair process can be seen below.

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 continue at the site of a major water main break at Great Lakes Water Authority's Lake Huron treatment facility in Metro Detroit on Sept. 1. Photo provided by GLWA. (Great Lakes Water Authority)
Repairs continue at the site of a major water main break at Great Lakes Water Authority's Lake Huron treatment facility in Metro Detroit on Aug. 30. Photo provided by GLWA. (Great Lakes Water Authority)
Site of a major water main break in Metro Detroit at the Great Lakes Water Authority's Lake Huron Treatment Facility. Image provided by the GLWA. (Great Lakes Water Authority)

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.