Facing a backlog of more than 100 repairs and dozens of calls about water main breaks, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department approved a $4.2 million contract Wednesday with a contractor to ease the workload.
The department’s Operations, Regulatory, Compliance and Procurement Committee awarded Blaze Contracting Inc. a $4.2 million contract to assist with the detection and repair of water main breaks, according to a news release by the department. The contract is pending approval by the board of water commissioners.
“The extreme cold weather, record snowfall and accumulated ice impede our ability to excavate, locate and repair faulty pipes in a timely manner,” Sue McCormick, Water and Sewerage Department director, said in a statement. “… Blaze Contracting, together with DWSD work crews and the two other contractors already on board, will help facilitate this effort.”
The contract follows the department’s “Main Break Action Plan,” which includes publicity of its 24-hour hotline, adding personnel and the assessment of equipment and training needs.
By the end of January, there were 312 reported incidents, according to the water department. Detroit Water and Sewerage Department handles 17 or 18 calls daily for water main incidents, and there about 160 unresolved cases.
One of the most recent main breaks between Congress and Fort on Tuesday forced crews to shut off water at the First National Building. On Feb. 8, a 16-inch water main broke, leaving roads near Connor and Gratiot flooded. Police rescued people trapped in their vehicles with a a large front end loader.
For water main breaks or leaks, contact the water department’s emergency hotline at (313) 267-7401.