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Macomb County residents warned to reduce water usage due to sinkhole

Jan 27, 2017

Macomb County officials say sediment has cut the flow of sewage through a collapsed sewer line that caused a massive sinkhole north of Detroit.

Approximately 500,000 Macomb County residents in 11 communities along the 15 Mile Road sewer line are being asked to reduce the amount of water going down their drains to help prevent the release of sewage into the Clinton River.

Engineers noticed the decreased flow Thursday through the 11-foot diameter interceptor. Officials say "only seepage is continuing down the line" and that a quarter-inch of rainfall could cause an unavoidable release of sewage into the river.

Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller says the county is "working to avoid an environmental disaster."

In a press release, Miller said there is no capacity in the system for any additional sewage flow. Temporary bypass lines being installed should help, but those won't be ready for at least a month.

Residents are being asked to reduce the length of their showers, flush only solids in toilets, to run their dishwashers and washing machines only when they're full.

Macomb County Public Works is holding a press conference this afternoon.