Brown, murky water continues to flow on Detroit’s east side

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The Detroit Water & Sewerage Department told BridgeDetroit that it has a team investigating the east side issue. (Courtesy photo)

Twenty-four hours after a water advisory had been placed on Detroit’s MorningSide, East English Village and Cornerstone Village neighborhoods, the City lifted the advisory, saying residents should have clean drinking water once they flushed their taps from the top of the house.

But residents on the east side continue to report flowing brown, murky water, even after following the City’s instructions to flush the taps. Though the City says it continues to investigate, a new advisory has yet to appear, and some residents say they don’t feel comfortable drinking from their taps.

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Detroit’s sewage system was “overwhelmed,” according to City officials, when 6 inches of rain dumped on the city last weekend. Detroiters are cleaning up flooded basements and cars, tossing out bulk items and scrubbing walls and floors since the downpour. However, a spokesperson from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department said the mass flooding and brown water from pipes on Detroit’s east side are not believed to be connected.

When asked about the ongoing murky water reports, DWSD told BridgeDetroit that it will have a team investigate the issue. 

“The advisory was based on a cluster of brown water reports that no longer existed based on our efforts the last two days,” DWSD said in an email to BridgeDetroit on Thursday evening. 

Should issues persist after following these directions call 313-267-8000 for assistance

Other residents in the area took to the Nextdoor app after the advisory was lifted to show that they were still having issues. 

“Followed flush instructions two separate times for over 10 minutes each. Still brown,”posted Sany Bilani.

Gary Brown, DWSD director, gave no update as to whether the Conner Creek water pump station, which was down for two hours over the weekend, has played a role in the murky water. 

“Right now, we’re just focused on providing a service to our residents,” Brown said. 

The director said he’s focused on providing water service to residents during a “storm of epic proportions.” According to Brown, his priority is to address the health and safety issues within Detroiters’ homes. 

“We can argue about how to make the system more efficient or make any policy change in the future,” he said during Thursday’s press conference. 

Detroit residents are complaining about murky water. (Courtesy photo)

The City is picking up 1,000 tons of debris each day, and has added 43 more trucks to assist pick-up crews. They are expected to work on the observed holiday this Monday.

Mayor Mike Duggan said Detroiters will not be ticketed for leaving bulk items out during this time. However, he asked Detroiters to move parked cars from in front of homes that have bulk items to speed up the process. The mayor also encouraged Detroiters to take photos of receipts and damaged goods (if receipts are not available) to be reimbursed for ruined items. 

“The stories are heartbreaking,” Duggan said during Thursday’s press conference. “It looks like the impact of this flood is twice as big as the flood in 2014.”  

Duggan said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is expected to review Detroit’s damage on Thursday. Duggan said he plans to join President Joe Biden in Traverse City to discuss the damage over the holiday weekend. 

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