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Macomb County residents asked to restrict water usage

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Macomb County residents serviced by a damaged interceptor that caused a massive sinkhole along 15 Mile Rd. in Fraser last month are being asked to restrict water usage after workers discovered shifting sediment.

By-pass sewer lines come out of a manhole on the northeast corner of 15 Mile Rd. and Hayes Rd. Macomb County residents serviced by a damaged interceptor that caused a massive sinkhole along 15 Mile Rd. in Fraser last month are being asked to restrict water usage

According to the Macomb County Public Works Office, engineers were monitoring the sinkhole Thursday morning when they noticed a significant decrease in the flow of sewage through the interceptor.

“Further examination showed that the entire 11-foot diameter of the interceptor is now blocked and only seepage is continuing down the line,” officials wrote in an alert Thursday.

The sewer line is owned by the Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District.

A 100-foot-wide, 250-foot-long sinkhole emerged on 15 Mile near Eberline on Christmas Eve after the interceptor collapsed, displacing homeowners and requiring a temporary bypass of the ruptured line. Officials have said the line and the massive sinkhole is expected to cost at least $78 million but could exceed $100 million to fix.

Before: Sewage flow capacity on January 16.

The affected communities are the cities of Fraser, Sterling Heights, Utica, New Haven and Chesterfield, Shelby, Clinton, Harrison, Lenox and Washington township. Selfridge Air National Guard Base is also impacted.

After: Sewage flood capacity when the interceptor line is completely plugged

Public works officials said the existing by-pass lines installed along the sinkhole route can only accomodate dry weather sewage flow. When there is a rainfall of as little as a quarter of an inch there could be an unavoidable release of sewage into the Clinton River, officials said.

“I cannot stress enough – we have no capacity in the system for any additional sewage flow,” Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice S. Miller said in a statement. “The situation is dire and we are at the mercy of Mother Nature until we can get the temporary by-pass lines in place, which is still a month away from completion. We are working to avoid an environmental disaster.”

Residents and businesses in the impacted communities are urged to do the following:

■Reduce the length of showers

■Only flush solids in the toilet

■Only run full wash loads

■Don’t run the water while brushing teeth.

■Run full dishwasher loads only

cwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2311