The Oakland County Water Resources Commission (WRC) conducted a test-shutoff of 7 valves along Woodward this morning and afternoon. The test shutoff was related to the need to move a fire hydrant as part of the Woodward streetscape project. All valves have been reopened and the test is complete.
The shutoff was only partially successful and the impacts were greater than expected due to the age and condition of our water system. We experienced a larger than expected pressure drop in areas outside of the shutoff area, and a larger area of impact for brown water.
The brown discoloration in the water is caused by sediment on the inside of the old cast iron water mains being disturbed when flow direction is altered or when hydrants are opened causing an abrupt change in flow rate. Now that the valves have been re-opened and the hydrant closed, the discoloration will resolve over time. We do not know how long it will take to flush the brown water from the pipes, so please be patient as the brown water resolves itself.
The water is not dangerous, but you should avoid doing laundry until the water is running clear again as the discoloration can stain white clothes.
Given the larger than anticipated impacts of this shut down, we will provide advance notice when the actual hydrant work will be done. We do not yet have a time frame for when that will occur.