About 17 hours after they began working on it, the Saline Department of Public Works crew has repaired the broken water main at the corner of Maple Road and Michigan Avenue, according to DPW Director Jeff Fordice.
The broken water main left most city residents without water this morning and has resulted in a boil water advisory that will remain in effect until at least 2 p.m., Friday. In a news release, Fordice said businesses along the water main will be under a boil water advisory longer than the rest of the city.
As of About 6:30 p.m., the Henry Street water tower was full and water pressure on the south side of the city was back to normal. The Industrial Drive water tower was at about 50 percent of its normal operating level and as a result some north side customers are experiencing reduced pressure. The tower should be at capacity this evening with pressures returning to normal throughout the city.
The city is now testing for bacteria in the water system. The boil water advisory will remain in effect until the city has completed two successful rounds of satisfactory samples, Fordice said.
Fordice estimated the city lost about 1 million gallons of water. That sounds like a lot. But is it? At the standard rate of about $5.25 per thousand gallons, the city lost about $5,250 worth of water. Fordice said the city has such contingencies built into its budget. By comparison, Meijer charges you 44 cents to fill up a one gallon container. So, that same one million gallons would cost you $440,000 at Meijer.
That million gallons of water went into the storm sewer system which, in that area, discharge at the south end of Old Creek Drive into the Golden Acres drain on the east side of Wilderness Park. While that might sound like a lot, it’s not, compared to all the excess water flowing through the Saline River.
“Yesterday the Saline River was flowing at about 620 cubic feet per second according to the USGS. Or about 400 million gallons per day,” Fordice said. “So today’s loss was indeed a drop in the bucket from a river flow perspective.”
Editor's note: The standard rate for water in the City of Saline is $5.25 per thousand gallons, not per gallon, as originally reported.