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SE Michigan Water main break larger than thought; boil water advisories expected until September

SE Michigan Water main break larger than thought; boil water advisories expected until September
August 18, 2022 Michigan Radio

 Steve CarmodyMichigan Radio

The Great Lakes News Collaborative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader; who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water. This independent journalism is supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Find all the work HERE.


Officials said Tuesday that the break in a massive water main in southeast Michigan is larger than originally thought.

The weekend break disrupted water service for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders.

The Great Lakes Water Authority said it’s ordered more lengths of 120-inch diameter pipe to complete the repairs to the water main.

But now fully restoring water service will likely be delayed until September 3.

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Suzanne Coffey is the Great Lakes Water Authority CEO. She said GLWA has now ordered 48 feet of pipe that must be manufactured, and she expects it will be delivered next Tuesday.

“We didn’t just order a small amount. We ordered more than what we know we’re going to need to make sure that we have flexibility … in the repair,” said Coffey.

The break in the 120-inch diameter pipe over the weekend disrupted water service to roughly a million Michiganders. Service has been restored to most, but boil water advisories remain in effect in seven communities.

The seven communities are: the Village of Almont, Bruce Township, Burtchville Township, City of Imlay City, City of Rochester, Shelby Township, and Washington Township.

GLWA officials have not tabulated the cost of the repair work, but Coffey said it’s in “the ballpark of the $1 to $2 million dollar range.”

Coffey said GLWA is not planning on compensating customers affected by the water pipe break.


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Featured image: The Great Lakes Water Authority says inspection of the 120-inch water main that broke this past Saturday found more damage to the pipe than initially thought, which will require the acquisition of additional lengths of the water main. (Photo Credit: Great Lakes Water Authority via Michigan Radio)

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