As City Officials Prepare for Friday's Town Hall on Water, They Hope They've Solved The Problem


As City of Saline officials prepare for Friday's Town Hall on drinking water, they also hope they've cleared up the "rusty water" problem that has plagued many residents over the last year.

At Monday's city council meeting, Saline's Department of Public Works Director Larry Sirls said water system flushing program, which leaders hope solves the issue, is complete.

"The expected and hoped-for result has been accomplished. We're not getting nearly the complaints - just a couple, isolated, since we finished," Sirls said.

Early that day, Sirls, City Manager Colleen O'Toole and water/wastewater superintendent Bill Briggs met with officials from the Michigan Department Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. Sirls said he laid out a plan for future mitigation of the problem which included valve turning and frequent flushing of dead-ends. The plan was well-received, Sirls said.

Mayor Brian Marl asked if staff talked to EGLE about the possibility of implementing regulations of irrigation systems.

City Manager O'Toole said EGLE showed some support for the idea.

Marl said he wanted to make sure the issue didn't fall off the city's radar.

"It's an important option to pursue and if it would have a direct and unambiguous positive impact on the quality of water quality, then I think it ought to be something that ought to be implemented," Marl said.

On Monday, however, there was also another complaint in the Saline Posts Facebook group about rusty water in the Torwood neighborhood. The frequency of the complaints has slowed.

In what could be related, on Tuesday, the city suffered three water main breaks.

For months, city residents have been complaining about rusty water in the city. People have posted pictures of brown water and stained laundry on Facebook. City officials have maintained that the water is safe and the brown tint in the water is caused by sediments in the pipes.

The town hall meeting takes place at 8 a.m. Friday. People can attend in person at Saline City Hall or they can participate on a Zoom call.
Meeting ID: 270 804 9291
Passcode: Saline

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