It’s not about how much water people in Fraser and the surrounding communities are drinking, but about how much is going down their drains. The answer to that could determine if raw sewage ends up in the Clinton River.
From doing dishes to doing the laundry, Rosemary and Dave Wilson from Sterling Heights are conserving water to help prevent disaster.
Macomb County Public Works is urging roughly a half million people to shorten their showers, and only flush solids in the toilet. Also they should turn off water while brushing their teeth to lessen the amount of water going down the drains.
Silt seeped into an 11 foot pipe and practically plugged it.
“It's a dire situation. We have at this time no room or no margin for error,” said Joe Nichols, Fraser Mayor.
If it's overwhelmed, Macomb County will have to divert raw sewage to the Clinton River and consequently Lake St. Clair to keep it from backing up into homes and businesses.
“We want to do our part to help out for sure.”
Josh Boor is the General Manager at Green Lantern Pizza in Fraser. It's on the same street as the sinkhole and the compromised sewer line.
“We're conserving water where we can, we're just trying to preach efficiency.”
Even if the 11 communities that use this sewer line do their part - Macomb County still won't be in the clear if the clouds are not.
“We're sort of praying to the weather gods right now that we don't get any rain.”
Macomb County drain commissioner Candice Miller says additional lines that will bypass the clogged area will be up and running in about a month.
“During the upcoming months after that is when we'll actually have to fix the sewer and replace it and repair it, so you're looking overall up to 10 months to a year.”
These are the communities Macomb County wants to conserve water: Fraser, Sterling Heights, Utica, New Haven, Chesterfield, Shelby Township, Clinton Township, Harrison township, Lenox.
Township, Washington Township, Macomb Township, and Selfridge Air National Guard Base.
The cost to fix just the clogged portion of the sewer line could reach $80 million. The cost to replace the entire line is about $140 million.