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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.



Senator Stabenow, Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller, and Regional Water Resource Leaders Announce Major Improvements Coming to SE Michigan Water Systems

ST. CLAIR SHORES — U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller, St. Clair County Commissioner Jeff Bohm, Great Lakes Water Authority Interim CEO Suzanne Coffey, and Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel today announced significant funding from the recently passed federal budget that will improve water quality in Southeast Michigan. These improvements will address serious water quality issues in the region and help keep our water clean for swimming and fishing, help manage the flow of sewage to prevent the flooding of roads and homes during heavy rains, and replace lead pipes to keep our children and families healthy.


The water system projects include:

            Chapaton Retention Basin: The Chapaton Retention Basin will receive $4,500,000 to prevent sewage from being pumped in Lake St. Clair to keep our beaches open and water clean for swimming and fishing.

            Martin Drain System: the Martin Sanitary Diversion Drainage District will receive $1,000,000 to reduce sewage overflows into Lake St. Clair to keep our beaches open and our water clean for swimming and fishing.

            Great Lakes Water Authority: the Great Lakes Water Authority will receive $2,000,000 to upgrade the Detroit River Interceptor to prevent the flooding of roads and homes during heavy rains.

            City of St. Clair Water Treatment Plant Improvements: the City of St. Clair will receive $970,000 to upgrade the Shorewell Pumping Station that will allow the city to grow and boost economic development.

            St. Clair County Clay-Ira Interceptor Project: the Township of Clay will receive $1,000,000 in funding to upgrade aging water infrastructure to protect natural resources and keep our water safe and clean.

            Pontiac Drinking Water Improvements: the Oakland County Water Resources Commission will receive $800,000 to replace 8,000 lead service lines and failing water mains in Pontiac’s drinking water system. Replacing lead pipes will keep drinking water safe for children in Pontiac.  


“Communities across Michigan are in critical need of water system investments that will keep our beaches open, our drinking water safe, and our roads and homes protected during heavy rains. I am pleased to have partnered with our local leaders on these major priorities that will make a significant difference for residents across the region,” said Senator Stabenow.  


“We’re very appreciative and grateful for the efforts to secure funding for the Chapaton Retention Treatment Basin project. These funds will help reduce combined sewer overflows which unfortunately are discharged to Lake St. Clair during heavy rain events, and to improve water quality,” said Candice S. Miller, Macomb County Public Works Commissioner. “These funds will be used to improve underground infrastructure in order to protect Michigan’s natural resources.”


“We are extremely excited to be receiving this money. This will help move our water capacity expansion project forward in the city of St Clair. Currently we are near maximum capacity in our water plant,” said Jeff Bohm, St. Clair County Board Commissioner. “This expansion in turn will help our ability to expand and attract additional investment in the St. Clair area and St Clair County.”


“GLWA is extremely grateful to Senator Stabenow for her assistance in obtaining $2 million for our multiphase project to clean, repair, rehabilitate, and maximize the capacity of the Detroit River Interceptor (DRI), one of the system’s major, as well as oldest, components. The optimization of the DRI will help not only minimize the overflow of untreated or partially treated wastewater into the surrounding waterways, but also relieve potential backups in other areas of the regional system,” said Suzanne Coffey, Great Lakes Water Authority Interim CEO.


“This funding for Pontiac will allow us to more quickly replace lead service lines to ensure the health and safety of our Pontiac residents,” said Tim Greimel, Pontiac Mayor.