About 133,000 Michigan residents remain under a boil water advisory after water flow was restored in the state following a massive water main break over the weekend.
On Saturday, almost 935,000 people in southeastern Michigan were advised to boil their drinking water afteron a 120-inch water main that distributes finished drinking water from the Lake Huron Water Treatment Facility.
On Sunday, the Great Lake Water Authority announced that at least some water pressure was restored to all communities – noting that water flow is still not at normal levels, but will be sufficient enough to use for sanitary purposes.
Crews were able to restore the water flow by making changes in the direction that water is pumped in the transmission system, GLWA said in a news release.
On Sunday the boil advisory was lifted in most areas, but remained in effect for 133,000 resident in Almont, Bruce Township, Burtchville Township, Imlay City, Rochester, Shelby Township and Washington Township, the GLWA said.
Residents in those areas are being advised to not drink the water without boiling it first until further notice as water authorities await results from sampling to verify the water is safe to drink.
Water authorities expect the pipeline to be returned to service in two weeks following repairs and water quality testing. Crews have already isolated the break and started the process of removing water from the site using eight-inch pumps, and the replacement pipe is already on it's way from Texas, the GLWA said.
"GLWA understands the real-life impact that this water main break is having on the hundreds of thousands of people in the affected communities, and we truly appreciate their patience and understanding as we work to implement the necessary repairs," Suzanne R. Coffey, GLWA chief executive officer, said in a statement. "I am grateful for the GLWA team who has been working tirelessly to restore water pressure to all communities and working as quickly as possible to restore service."
On Sunday morning, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland, and St. Clair counties to ensure residents in the affected areas have access to drinking water.
"We are drawing on every resource we have and taking every action necessary to get impacted families the help they need," Whitmer said in a statement. "On Saturday, I activated the State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate our response efforts, and with today's state of emergency declaration, we are ensuring that state resources will be available as long as the impacted communities need them. In times of crisis, Michiganders stand together. We will do what it takes to get through this."
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