Nearly 1 million Michigan residents have been given cooking advice after a leak was discovered in a major water pipe serving the Detroit area.
The Great Lakes Water Authority said it discovered a breach early Saturday in a 10-foot water transmission line that distributes drinking water from the Lake Huron Water Treatment Facility.
Out of an “abundance of caution”, the water board issued a precautionary advice for boiling water for the 23 communities which are served by the water supply, it said in a statement.
An estimated 935,000 people, as well as businesses in Greenwood and Imlay Township, may be affected, the water board said.
The water board listed the town of Flint as one of the affected communities. But city officials in Flint said they switched to a secondary water main after the emergency warning from the Great Lakes Water Authority, the primary water source. The city’s water quality will therefore not be affected and residents will not have to boil water, officials said.
Crews from the Great Lakes Water Authority were busy isolating the leak — which was identified in Port Huron, about a mile west of the Lake Huron Water Treatment Facility — to begin repair work.
“Once the leak is isolated, crews will begin to open emergency connections to other pipes in the system to restore some power to the affected communities,” the authority said.
The water board is also investigating the cause of the leak.
A loss of water pressure in a water system could lead to bacterial contamination, officials warned. As a precautionary measure, affected residents are urged to boil water for at least one minute before drinking, or use bottled or disinfected water until further notice.
The advice for boiling water will be lifted as soon as sampling shows that the water is safe to drink, the water authority said.
It is unclear how long it will take to repair the water main break.
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