Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Boil-water Alert May Last Until Friday for Detroit Area
James David Dickson
The Detroit News
11:12 p.m. ET Feb. 28, 2017

Residents of a large section of Detroit, as well as Hamtramck and Highland Park, should boil water possibly until Friday morning due to low water pressure, water authorities announced.

Tuesday night, the Great Lakes Water Authority issued a boil-water advisory for residents and businesses south of McNichols, east of Linwood on the west side and west of Connor on the east side. That includes Midtown and downtown Detroit.

GLWA spokeswoman Amanda Abukhader said Wednesday afternoon that the low-pressure situation resulted from a malfunctioning pump, which has since been resolved. Water pressure has been restored. The boil-water advisory was issued "out of an abundance of caution," Abukhader said, as the necessary water safety tests take 48 hours to come back.

Between residents and businesses, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department serves some 200,000 customers in the city, said spokesman Bryan Peckinpaugh. A count of how many people are affected was not immediately available.

"A temporary drop in pressure in the water supply" may have contaminated bacteria in the water system, a statement on the city of Detroit website said.

"Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water," the statement said. "Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice."

Water authorities will announce when the advisory is lifted.

Detroit Public Schools Community District officials said Wednesday they are "taking action to provide water to schools."

"Water in (these) schools must not be consumed during the next 48-hour period for drinking or cooking unless boiled," DPSCD said in a release.

The Office of School Nutrition is providing water for drinking, the district said.  Authorities have been instructed to shut off water at the drinking fountains. Wayne State University, in Midtown, is telling students to use bottled water in the meantime, according to an alert from the school.

While "normal pressure should be achieved within 24 hours," according to a statement from the Great Lakes Water Authority, the advisory itself is expected to remain in place for 48 hours. The trouble owes to an "equipment malfunction" at the Water Works Park Water Treatment Facility on Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday at Parc, the new restaurant at Campus Martius Park, the boil water advisory took some adjusting, said manager Theodore Oresky.

The tap water that would be a customary offering to each guest has been replaced with bottled water, Absopure.

The options for pop drinkers are a bit more limited, though, since the soda gun requires the use of tap water. In its place, big bottles of pop are available to waitstaff to pour drinks.

"I don't have ginger ale today," Oresky said of the relatively limited replacement offerings, but customers can still order the soft drink.

At a health juice store called Drought, tap water-related problems had no impact: it's not sold, offered or used to make the juices it sells. The only warning sign on its front door advises customers to watch for the step down once inside the door.

Clerk Portia Gordon, 25, lives in Detroit and will be affected by the advisory when she gets off work.

But she said she prefers to drink bottled, alkaline water at home. Even if this were a normal Wednesday, Gordon said she'd boil water if there were no alkaline water available -- too many concerns about fluoride in the water to trust it.

Across Campus Martius Park in Cadillac Square, it was business as usual at the Roasting Plant coffee shop.

Manager Kristen Wing, 25, explained that the shop has its own water filtration system.

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