Water alert lifted in some areas, extended in others

Charles E. Ramirez and Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

A boil water alert sparked by a water main break affecting 11 Oakland County communities has been extended to the weekend after repair crews discovered a leak, water authorities said Thursday.

The extension comes as four subdivisions in Oakland Township and Rochester Hills learned they could begin using water again without boiling it.

The boil water advisory was lifted about 4 p.m. Thursday for the Hills of Oakland and Kings Pointe in Oakland Township, and in Rochester Hills north of Hamlin and west of Livernois, the Great Lakes Water Authority said.

The water main that broke Monday in Farmington Hills has been repaired and was expected to go back into service Thursday when repair crews discovered a leak during new pipe installation. The leak forced authorities to extend the advisory through the weekend, they said.

The break left about 304,970 residents without drinkable water. As of Thursday evening, some 274,709 people remained under instructions to boil water.

The break caused hospitals to delay surgeries for some patients and transfer others to different facilities.

Since Tuesday, more than 40 patients from Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital were transferred to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit for care. All other hospitalized patients at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital continue to receive care and the hospital is using bottled water.

“We are doing everything we can to maintain current operations at our facilities impacted by the water main break in Oakland County,” a news release said.

As of Thursday evening, the boil-water advisory remained in some nine communities.

Tyrene Williams of Novi, one of the communities affected, had to go to Detroit to get bottled water for herself and her children, ages 3 and 17.

“It’s frustrating to have to keep boiling until Sunday.”

Tyler LeFlore said boiling water may be inconvenient, but “it’s for our safety, just in case.”