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Update 21: 120-inch Water Transmission Main Break

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        11:00 a.m.

October 03, 2022



  • 120-inch water transmission main returned to service; regional system restored to normal operations
  • All requests for limited outdoor water usage lifted
  • Final incident report due to EGLE in 30 days 

DETROIT – The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) is providing an update on the August 13 break to the 120-inch water transmission main that distributes finished drinking water from its Lake Huron Water Treatment Facility to communities in the northern part of GLWA’s drinking water service area.

This past weekend GLWA returned its 120-inch water transmission main back to service and the regional system back to normal operations. This was several days ahead of the previously stated timeline of October 5. With normal operations restored, GLWA is lifting the request that the 23 originally impacted communities limit outdoor water usage.

“On behalf of everyone at GLWA, I want to express my gratitude to our member partner communities and their residents for their collaboration and support as we worked through the complexities of the break on what is the largest pipe in our regional system,” said Suzanne R. Coffey, GLWA Chief Executive Officer. “Although we encountered a number of obstacles along the way, I am so proud of how everyone involved dug-in and used their knowledge, skills and ingenuity to ensure that we made the repair as quickly as possible and kept our focus on protecting the public health.”

A final incident report is due to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) within 30 days. GLWA will post the completed report on its website, once it is submitted to EGLE.


About the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA)

The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) is the provider-of-choice for drinking water services to nearly 40 percent, and efficient and effective wastewater services to nearly 30 percent, of Michigan’s population. With the Great Lakes as source water, GLWA is uniquely positioned to provide those it serves with water of unquestionable quality. GLWA also has the capacity to extend its services beyond its 88 member partner communities. As part of its commitment to water affordability, the Authority offers a Water Residential Assistance Program to assist low-income households in participating member communities throughout the system. GLWA’s board includes one representative each from Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties, two representatives from the city of Detroit, and one appointed by the Michigan governor to represent member partner communities outside of the tri-county area.



Our Wastewater System

Our wastewater treatment plant, the largest single-site treatment facility in North America, is used as a benchmark for other plants across the Midwest.

In a giant step toward becoming a Utility of the Future, GLWA is transitioning its Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) to a Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF), that will ultimately operate on renewable energy. At the end of this process, the WRRF will be energy neutral, meaning the facility will create enough energy to power its own operations, and perhaps even create excess energy that can be fed into the power grid.

Additionally, a new Biosolids Dryer Facility (BDF) has the ability to turn roughly one billion gallons of biosolids into environmentally friendly fertilizer. This alternative to burning or dumping in a landfill will significantly decrease emissions year-over-year.

Log into our GDRSS portal here.

Capital Improvement Plan

GLWA’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) supports the continuation of major capital asset investments to upgrade the Authority’s aging infrastructure. The five year plan is updated annually to reflect changing system needs, priorities and funding opportunities. Click on Learn More to view our current and historical CIP plans.

Combined Sewer Overflows

GLWA operates and maintains CSO Outfalls and CSO Facilities in accordance with our Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

Industrial Waste Control

The Great Lakes Water Authority’s Industrial Waste Control group implements and enforces an Industrial Pretreatment Program (IPP) to regulate the discharge of commercial and industrial waste and wastewater.


Miles of trunk sewer pipes & interceptors operated and maintained by GLWA
Less carbon dioxide emission produced by our BDF than traditional incineration
Approximate number of people using GLWA wastewater services

Become a Member Partner

Discover how we work with our member partners to create healthy communities and explore the services we provide. Then learn how to connect your community to Michigan’s water provider of choice.

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Sewer Back-Up Claim Form

If you have been impacted by a sewer back-up and want to file a claim with GLWA, please click below.