Detroit hospital, other buildings awaiting water quality tests

Patients and staff have been asked to drink and use bottled water Thursday after some construction with the M1 Rail created some water problems. Other big commercial buildings in Detroit's New Center area in addition to Henry Ford Hospital have also been affected.

FOX 2 received photos of water fountains and bathroom faucets with signs taped to them, saying "Out of Order" or "Do Not Use."

Michael Wilson saw them while picking up a prescription and decided to give the faucet a try.

"It was a little cloudy, not clear like it usually is. Like you just picked some sand up or something and just put it in there," he says.

Patients and staff at the hospital were told not to drink or use the tap water because of a water discoloration issue. We're told two water valves were replaced near the M-1 Rail construction project about a half mile away near West Grand Boulevard and Woodward, and that the water issue is believed to be tied to that.

Crews from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department immediately began flushing the system and removing what's believed to be sediment. They are now waiting for water quality tests to come back.

"The water wasn't flushed properly out of the system so it caused sediment and dirt to stay in the water main, and that got to our business customers in the New Center Area, including Henry Ford Hospital, The Fisher Building and Cadillac Place," says DWSD spokesperson, Bryan Peckinpaugh.

Those working, visiting or staying at the hospital were instructed to drink bottled water and use hand sanitizer while crews were hard at work remedying the problem, and as a precaution that will remain the case throughout the day.

A spokesperson for Henry Ford Hospital says at no point were patient services affected. Sterile water is always used for surgeries and other procedures, and the toilets remained functioning.

Still something like this happening here just didn't feel right.

"It's crazy, it's scary, especially at a hospital," Wilson says.

Henry Ford Hospital did its own water quality ests and those results should be back later Thursday. The city's results should be back Friday morning.

The city says only the commercial buildings in the new center area should be affected, but if you're seeing cloudy water you're advised to keep it running for 30 to 60 seconds. If it remains cloudy, give the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department a call at (313) 267-8000.