Boil advisory lifted for Alpena, township

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz MacArthur Construction, department of public works and Suez employees worked Saturday to fix a fractured water line in Alpena which caused a boiled water notice in the city and parts of Alpena Township. The line is fixed and the advisory was lifted Sunday morning.

ALPENA — A break in one of the main water pipes at the water plant in Alpena forced a water boil advisory for all of the City of Alpena and a portion of Alpena Township this weekend.

The repairs to the line were fixed and the advisory was lifted at about 10 a.m. Sunday.

According to Suez Utility Manager Mike Glowinski, the largest of two pipes that pumps water from the plant into the system ruptured and the leak was discovered at about 10:30 pm. Friday night. He said water company employees went to the plan and isolated the break and shifted the water flow to a smaller pipe from the plant. Glowinski said some residents were without water briefly and others had low pressure because of the break.

To be sure the water was safe to consume, Suez took six samples in town and had them tested. While waiting for the test results to come back, Glowinski said it was decided to put out a water boil bulletin to be sure the water was safe for consumption. He said the testing and boil notice were done out of precaution.

“There is always a chance of contamination, so we wanted to be sure there wasn’t any,” he said. “All six came back negative.”

Glowinski said the plant is still waiting on one more test and until it is received today, a portion of the township will not receive water from the city system. He said it will relay on the water towers for water and when the tests come back, and if negative, water service to the township will be restored. Glowinski said there is also a slim chance a boil notice for the township could be put in place again.

“If it were to get to the point to where they needed to fill their towers, we may have to issue a notice,” Glowinski said. “We expect the results at about 9 a.m. and then we’ll know more.”

Many people rushed to the store to purchase bottled or jugs of water and some businesses in the city had to change up how they normally operate. At JJ’s Steakhouse customers who wanted water got it from bottles and bags of ice were purchased to use in drinks. Cans of pop were sold instead of fountain pop. The Black Sheep and other restaurants in the area did the same.

JJ’s owner, John Benson said he went out and purchased a lot of water and ice, and made sure menu items where water was needed to prepare, were done safely.

“We boiled the water for soups, potatoes and dough,” Benson said. “We followed the rules and made sure we were still taking care of our customers.”

Benson said he never doubted the water supply from the city was fine, but he appreciated the fact that the city and Suez took extra precautions to be sure.

“The water company did a phenomenal job of handing this and even though 99 percent of the people knew the water was fine, it went the extra mile to make sure,” he said. “They had everything fixed quickly and everyone just did fantastic.”

Glowinski said there was a lot teamwork taking place to get everything done in a reasonable time, done correctly and safely. He said teamwork between MacArthur Construction, department of public works and Suez employees to get the waterline fixed and testing done.

“Everyone worked together and everyone contributed,” Glowinksi said. “It was a very fluid for a job of that size.”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.