BAY CITY (WWJ/AP) – Bay City has declared a water emergency. Officials are searching for the source of a water main break that’s draining 10 million gallons of water a day.

But Emergency Management Coordinator Ryan Manz says the city shouldn’t run out of water if people are conservative about their water use.

“We have high confidence that if residents of Bay County pitch in and adhere to the water use restrictions, that we should be able to get through this together,” said Manz.

Residents and businesses are being asked to avoid all unnecessary water use.

“Residential water-use should be limited to the amount necessary to sustain life through drinking, food preparation and personal hygiene,” he added.

The city provides water to most of Bay County.

Crews discovered Saturday there was a major water main break, officials said. Public works Director Dave Harran has said the city’s water reserves could be empty Monday unless the location of the leak is found and crews can halt it.

On Sunday, the city said it was taking in water from the Saginaw Bay at a greater rate than the leak was discharging water.

The search for the break has been extensive. Firefighters from neighboring townships drove Bay County roads in the hopes of finding flowing water. A state police helicopter surveyed farm fields and farmers were asked to check their fields for any unusual water. Crews also have been inspecting water mains that run under the Saginaw River to see if any of them is the source of the leak.

Under the water-use emergency, residents are asked to avoid unnecessary water use, including laundry, watering lawns and washing cars. Residents are also being asked to cut down on using water for personal hygiene.

Operations continued Sunday at some businesses that use water, including the downtown Totally Clean Coin Laundry.

“I guess it didn’t faze me at all,” said Savana West, who was in the middle of doing her laundry. “If we are going to run out of water … I’m going to need clean clothes for the rest of the week.”

All Bay County residents are affected by the water emergency except residents in the city of Auburn, the village of Linwood and Frankenlust Township. Bay County residents who live in the Midland city limits aren’t affected.


TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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