Boil water advisory issued after 42-inch water main break in Detroit

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The City of Detroit is dealing with a massive water main break, just days before the official kick off of the North American International Auto Show downtown. 

The break happened Saturday night at the River Park Condominiums near Larned and Jefferson. The area affected includes Downtown, the Riverfront and Greektown, to name a few. 

Meanwhile, media from all over the world is in town for the first NAIAS press preview day on Monday. 

“The timing is never good. The good news is that nobody is out of water. If, in fact, they didn’t have water you wouldn’t be able to open the auto show so that’s not the case,” said Gary Brown with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. 

Drinking fountains at Cobo Center were turned off Sunday, though. And since the water pressure did drop, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is issuing boil water advisory. 

“Specifically, if you are using water for drinking or cooking, you should bring that water to a boil for at least two minutes prior to consumption,” Palencia Mobley said with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. 

Brown says they don’t anticipate the advisory being lifted until around Wednesday or Thursday. 

City officials  couldn't estimate yet the number of customers affected by this water main, but suffice to say it’s a lot of homes and businesses. Crews are working to shore up the sides of the hole so they can then replace a 10-15 foot portion of the water main.

“The problem with aged infrastructure is that it is old and susceptible to breaks, especially in cold temperatures because you can have that freeze-thaw effect,” Cheryl Porter said with Great Lakes Water Authority. 

According to the City of Detroit, the boil water advisory remains as a precautionary measure. After the water main repair is completed, the GLWA will conduct two rounds of water quality testing, required by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, prior to recommending the advisory be lifted.