First Water Quality Tests Done In Oakland County; Ban Continues

FARMINGTON HILLS (WWJ)  Two Oakland County communities are now off the boil water list as work continues at the site of this week’s big water main break in Farmington Hills.

Residents of Rochester Hills and Oakland Township will rejoice to hear it’s now OK to drink the water there — although things may not be back to normal until sometime this weekend in neighboring cities, with testing ongoing.

A mandatory boil water advisory remains in effect, as of Thursday evening, for Commerce Township, Farmington Hills (north of I-696), Novi (the area bounded by 14 Mile on the north, 8 mile on the south, Napier on the west and Haggerty on the east), Walled Lake, West Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Township (the area bounded by South Blvd. on the north, 14 Mile on the south, Inkster on the west and Adams Road on the East), Keego Harbor, Orchard Lake and Wixom.

An update from the Great Lakes Water Authority at 7 p.m. Thursday says water quality testing will begin Friday — so that means that the boil water advisory won’t be lifted until Sunday in West Bloomfield Township, the Village of Orchard Lake, Commerce Township, Farmington Hills (north of I-696), Walled Lake, Wixom and a part of Novi in an area bounded by 14 Mile, Haggerty, Eight Mile and Napier. If water quality testing goes as planned, Bloomfield Township and Keego Harbor will lift their advisory tomorrow, but it’s unclear when.

Residents are asked to boil their water for at least a minute and then let it cool before drinking it or using it for cooking.

Water pressure returned to most residents early Thursday when new pipe was laid, but there are still about 35,000 in Farmington Hills north of I-696 who have little or no water.

In an update Thursday, the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) said, although things are moving in the right direction, there’s been a setback. A leak was discovered during testing; and, although the leak has been fixed, the overall timeline has shifted; and, with testing ongoing, full restoration (initially expected Friday) is not expected until sometime over the weekend.

Until then, the boil water advisory remains in place for more than 200,000 residents in Oakland County. The GLWA apologizes says it will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Nicole Sitto lives in the Rolling Oaks subdivision near the water main break at 14 Mile and Drake Roads. She said patience has been wearing thin among neighbors.

“It’s a nightmare to try to boil the water and all that stuff,” Sitto told WWJ.

Their empathy is with the workers, who are working nearly round the clock to repair the water main, a behemoth pipe that hadn’t been inspected in more than 40 years.  It basically shattered, possibly due to a surge in the system caused by a brief power outage.

“I feel bad for the guys because they’ve been working day and night to try to fix the problem, we’ve brought them water, pops and snacks and stuff, most of the neighborhood has been bringing them food,” Sitto added.


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