Portsmouth Township Fire Dept. members inspects fire hydrants and fields for the broken water main Sunday. (Yfat Yossifor / AP)
Bay City — Bay City officials were searching Sunday for the source of a water main break that was draining 10 million gallons of water a day and threatening to empty reserves by Monday in the Michigan city of 35,000.
Bay City has declared a water emergency, and public works Director Dave Harran said Sunday that the situation was urgent. He urged residents and businesses to avoid all unnecessary water use, according to The Bay City Times.
Crews discovered Saturday afternoon that there was a major water main break, Harran said, and they searched all night for its location without success. He said the city’s water reserves could be empty by Monday unless the location of the leak is found and crews can halt it.
On Sunday afternoon, crews were inspecting four water mains that run under the Saginaw River to see if any of them is the source of the leak, said Gary Korthals, a city water and sewer system supervisor.
It would be challenging and expensive if the problem turns out to be under the river, Korthals said.
“Oh man, that would be big,” he said. “We’ll cross that bridge if and when we get there.”
Operations continued Sunday at businesses that use water, including the downtown Totally Clean Coin Laundry.
“I guess it didn’t faze me at all,” said Savana West, who was in the middle of doing her laundry. “If we are going to run out of water tomorrow, I’m going to need clean clothes for the rest of the week.”