UPDATE: The Bay City water main leak has been found and water restrictions have been lifted. The leak caused an estimated 15-20 million gallons of water lost. The following are some of the latest local news sources on the event:
City officials and crew workers are on a drastic search to find a water main break in the Bay County area that is resulting in 5 million gallons lost every 12 hours. The first reports of a shortage arose early in the day this past Saturday and have continued through this morning.
Officials have stated that the city’s water plant could be completely drained if crews cannot find the source of the main break. After searching overnight early Sunday morning, Fire and emergency workers have expanded their search to the surrounding countryside. The majority of Bay County draws its water from the city.
(Bay County water treatment crews check pipes buried under the Saginaw River to detect leaks in the system Sunday, Aug. 10, by Liberty Bridge. The bay County water system is losing 5M gallons every 12 hours because of a broken water main. (photo courtesy Yfat Yossifor | The Bay City Times, story via MLive and The Bay City Times)
Bay City is currently under a “water use emergency,” restricting use to drinking, food preparation and personal hygiene. This is a more drastic restriction from earlier that day, which simply restricted “non-essential use,” like watering lawns and washing cars.
In a press conference on Sunday night, officials stated that the search will continue to find the source of the water main break. If they don’t find the leak soon, however, the city’s reserves could depleted very soon.
With this current water disaster in Bay City and the most recent instances in Toledo and British Columbia, this is an important lesson to all: for our most basic needs, have a plan in place. Have a personal stockpile of fresh drinking water, provisions and other necessary precautions. Always be prepared.
The following are more resources from MLive and The Bay City times on the current situation.