Boil-water advisory lifted in Oakland County

A broken water pipe on 14 mile Road in Farmington Hills left more than 260,000 people all over Oakland County without clean water for almost a week, according to the Detroit Free Press. The 48-inch-water-main break impacted Bloomfield Township, Commerce, Farmington Hills, Keego Harbor, Orchard Lake, Novi, Novi Township, Wixom, Walled Lake, and West Bloomfield.

The boil-water advisory ended October 30th, but Oakland County health officials warned residents to take precautions before drinking the water, such as replacing refrigerator water and ice-making filters.

“I brushed my teeth with water bottles,” said Senior Kristen Mifsud. “We also had to wash the dishes with water bottles.”

The water main break made everyday things such as drinking water and washing the dishes more difficult and expensive because people either had to buy water bottles or boil water for drinking. Health officials warned people in Oakland County to boil water not only for drinking, but for brushing teeth, washing fruits and vegetables, preparing food, and making ice because water was contaminated with bacteria.

The demand for bottled water was so high that grocery stores, such as Sam’s Club and Meijer, ran out. Many restaurants such as Olive Garden in Novi adjusted to the water main break by getting their ice delivered and preparing food with boiled water. Also, almost all Starbucks’ in Oakland County were closed because of low water pressures.

“Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, maybe some abdominal pain and cramping [are symptoms from low water pressure,]“ Dr. Tricia Stein told WXYZ Detroit. Stein also says that people with a compromised immune system are at a greater risk of becoming sick.

Patients from Henry Ford Hospital were relocated to Providence Hospital in Southfield because safety precautions needed to be taken, said Sora Kashat, nurse at Henry Ford Hospital in West Bloomfield.

The water main break left all people in Oakland County at risk of illness if they drank the bacteria-contaminated water in their homes. Many people were irritated by the water break because it made the access to clean water much more difficult. Also, there were many concerns regarding elderly people living in nursing homes and those staying in hospitals. Businesses either closed or adjusted to the low water pressures by using bottled or boiled water. Even though the water main break only lasted six days, it gave Oakland County residents the opportunity to understand the situation of the people living in Puerto Rico and Flint, who have been living without clean water for much longer.

West 14 Mile Road between Drake and Farmington is closed while workers examine and repair the broken water main. Photo Credit: Fair Use/Twitter.
City hall and fire stations in Novi pass out bottled water to residents under the boil-water advisory. Photo Credit: Fair Use/Twitter.