By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – An increase in water main pressure caused a night time pipe break at Dix and Margaret July 30, necessitating a water pressure reduction until an afternoon pipe repair July 31.
Mayor Stacy Striz said Aug. 1 that when Interim Department of Public Works Director Gerald Douyard went to check and assess the break July 30, he decided to reduce overnight water pressure.
“After looking at it, it was much larger than they could handle at that time,” Striz said, “so instead of turning everyone’s water off for probably 24 hours, they called in our company that we contract for some of our larger breaks.”
Compeau Brothers Excavating of Carleton replaced just over nine feet of water main pipe the next afternoon.
Striz said based on safety concerns and the equipment the city has, they contract out larger water main breaks.
“We only have a couple of guys there that are doing the repairs, so we need more people because they have to physically go down into a hole,” Striz said.
Councilwoman Michelle Said Land, whose water was turned off for the repair, said the water was back on by 4:30 p.m., and the work was done very efficiently.
Striz said at the Aug. 3 City Council meeting that because it has been so dry in the metropolitan Detroit area, it is within the contract of the Great Lakes Regional Water Authority that they can increase the pressure.
“So when they were starting to increase the pressure it was blowing the lines,” Striz said. “Our system is pre-World War II, a lot of it. So it’s really old.”
Striz said being in close proximity to Detroit, the water pressure increase in the water mains impact Melvindale immediately.
“Ever year the city administrator applies for the financially distressed grants, and tries to get some of the pipes done,” Striz said.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)