Source of massive underground leak discovered on March 11

Almont DPW Supervisor Brian Treat discusses water leak with Village Manager Mike Connors at last Tuesday’s meeting in Almont. photo by Benjamin Stalker.

ALMONT — A water boil advisory has been issued to residential homes and businesses located along Water, Bristol and Spring streets. The advisory went into effect on Tuesday, March 12, and is expected to last 48 hours.

Village Manager Mike Connors says village staff has delivered cases of bottled water to the 25 locations that were affected by the temporary shut-off as repairs were made to the one-inch service line that was located underground.

The source of a massive water leak within the village limits that frustrated both the Village Council and Department of Public Works was discovered on Monday, March 11.

Connors said DPW employees, working with Aqua-line Leak Detection Service and Michigan Rural Water Association, located the underground leak, which was draining into the village’s sanitary sewer. The line was located and terminated in the early evening hours on Monday, and water was restored with the exception of the defective service lead, Connors says.

“Almont DPW flushed hydrants and has tested water as required,” Connors says in a press release.

Additional samples will be taken this morning, (Wed., March 13), and once tested and cleared, the water boil advisory will be lifted, Connors adds.

“Any discoloration in the water will need to be flushed as a result of the water line work,” he says. “The next steps are to replace the defective service line and repair the section of sanitary sewer as a result of the water line break.”

The frustrating situation was discussed near the conclusion of the March 5 Village Council meeting. DPW Supervisor Bryan Treat informed the council that he was still tracking down the leak, which was discovered in mid-January.

“I have never experienced a loss this big,” Treat said at the meeting.

Before the source was discovered, the village’s water system was losing 100,000 gallons of water a day, Treat said. For comparison, he added, the Village of Almont uses around 180,000 gallons of water on a normal day.

Treat said he and his four-man staff had been searching day and night, shutting down water mains from midnight to 5 a.m. and performing pressure tests to try to identify the location of the leak.

On Tuesday, Connors acknowledged the hard work and efforts of the village’s DPW, adding that they had been working midnights to troubleshoot some 21 miles of water main and service leak pipes.

“All hands were on deck to resolve this issue, including working with Rowe Professional Services, Great Lakes Water Authority, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Aqua-line Leak Detection, Michigan Rural Water Association and Michigan Pipe Inspection,” Connors says in the press release.

“I’d like to acknowledge the hard work of the Almont DPW, who worked feverishly to bring resolve to locating and resolving an unnerving underground water leak,” he continues. “The Village of Almont is thankful to have a dedicated DPW staff who has sacrificed many nights and weekends away from

family to tackle this


Note: Editor Catherine Minolli contributed to this report.