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Grand Rapids Water Service Outage For Many Grand Rapids Citizens

Cover image via City of Grand Rapids
Cover image via City of Grand Rapids

Sunday afternoon, homeowners who have city water experienced a strange outage. Homeowners first started reporting issues around 1:30 PM on Sunday, which later turned into a large portion of the city reporting issues of no water, or loss of water pressure. 

By Sunday at 4:15 PM, the city of Grand Rapids had placed over 20,000 public water users under a boil effect, strongly suggesting that all homeowners boil their water for 1-2 minutes before using it to brush their teeth, wash dishes, cook, and clean. The city noted that showering and flushing the toilet would not be an issue for public water users. 

Map via City of Grand Rapids

The loss of water caused immediate closure of many businesses in the Knapps Corner area of Northeast Grand Rapids. Celebration Cinema, Frederik Meijer Gardens, and Ada Bible Church were some of the dozens of places that had to shut down for the day. Now, businesses are faced with the challenge of a water boil advisory. Water boil advisories typically last 3-4 days, which can leave fast food locations stranded, and stuck operating under reduced capacities.

The city described this sudden change due to a water main break in a remote area of Leonard Street NE and Union Avenue NE near Carrier Creek. 

“What can happen when there’s a loss of pressure in the system, there’s a chance that harmful things from the ground can end back up in the water system, in the pipes and stuff like that come out,” said Wayne Jernberg, water system manager for the city of Grand Rapids. He also explained the reasons for the boil mandate. “So, if you boil [the water], you’re essentially killing off any pathogens, things like that,” said Wayne Jernberg, water system manager for the city of Grand Rapids.

While water pressure returned to normal on Sunday night, the city advises following precautions in case the pressure drop allowed any bacteria or pathogens to enter.

“If you are in the area East of US 131 and North of Hall Street, DO NOT drink the tap water without boiling it first,” the city wrote on social media.

The water boil advisory will be in effect for a few days, and then state and local crews will test the water for possible contamination. Until then, the city urges everyone to follow the guidelines and stay up to date on the Grand Rapids city website: https://www.grandrapidsmi.gov/Our-City/News-Media/Water-main-break-and-Boil-Water-Alert

As businesses and homeowners get back into the swing of having their water back, authorities are looking into what happened and how to prohibit it from happening again. With a large portion of Grand Rapids under the advisory, city officials will certainly ensure the speedy recovery of this issue.

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About the Contributor
Kasen Wooters, Staff Writer
Kasen Wooters is a sophomore at FHE, and a First-year Hawk Herald writer. Outside of school hours, Kasen enjoys working in the auditorium, running audio, lights, and microphones for the many events that come through Eastern. In his free time, Kasen likes to work with local politicians and provide opportunities to high school students across the area. Kasen loves to listen to music and loves collecting vinyl records.
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