Repairs to broken water main completed;
safe water delivery is restored to the area
TRI-CITY AREA — The broken Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) water main has been repaired and normal water operations have been restored throughout the area.
The 10-foot-wide pipe broke on Aug. 13, resulting in GLWA declaring a water emergency for numerous local communities, including the City of Imlay City and the Village of Almont.
Because of the size and length of the pipe and amount of water and technical nature of the work, the process took longer than expected to make the repair. The process also required that the system be flushed and disinfected before operations could be restored.
On Monday, Oct. 3, GLWA officials reported that the repair was completed on Friday and operations were monitored throughout the weekend to ensure that conditions remained stable.
The repair was welcomed by Lapeer County Emergency Management Director Jeffrey Satkowski, who happily shared the news with the local community.
“GLWA has declared the water emergency over,” said an ecstatic Satkowski on Monday morning.
The water main break had initially led to “boil water” advisories for nearly one million customers.
The water emergency also resulted in massive water distribution efforts in Imlay City and Almont, where residents were provided free water compliments of the GLWA and Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
In Imlay City, water tests conducted by DHHS briefly detected minute levels of lead in the city’s tap water.
Imlay City officials reported that of the several homes tested for lead, only two detected traces of lead.
Additionally, the city’s stand-by well water did not contain lead.
All requests by GLWA to limit water usage have also been lifted.
“On behalf of everyone at GLWA, I want to express my gratitude to our member partner communities and their residents for their collaboration and support as we worked through the complexities of the break on what is the largest pipe in our regional system,” said Suzanne R. Coffey, GLWA Chief Executive Officer.
“Although we encountered a number of obstacles along the way, I am so proud of how everyone involved dug-in and used their knowledge, skills and ingenuity to ensure that we made the repair as quickly as possible and kept our focus on protecting the public health.”
Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.