Update: City lifts advisory, issues instructions

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Water bottle distribution to end at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. Grand Rapids Magazine file photo.

Effective immediately, the City of Grand Rapids has lifted the boil water advisory issued March 17, 2024. The City has flushed the system and has completed all required testing and sampling in accordance with Federal and State rules and regulations. Residents and businesses no longer need to boil water to make it safe to consume; however, there are a number of recommended actions before residents resume using water.

Steps after a boil water advisory:

  • Flush Plumbing, Pipes, and Faucets (interior and exterior)
  • Unscrew and remove faucet screens/aerators and clean out any particles.
  • Run cold water through your faucets and appliances with direct water connections for at least 5 minutes.
  • To clear hot water pipes and the water heater of untreated water, run hot water only at all faucets and flush until the water runs cool.
  • Put the screens/aerators back on the faucets.
  • Check Appliances/Devices
  • Remove and replace all water filters, including water coolers, inline filters, and other appliances with direct water connections. The filter could be contaminated if you ran water through any filter during the boil water advisory.
  • Always read and follow the owner’s manual for directions to flush and replace filters for all appliances that use water.
  • Water dispensers from refrigerators should be flushed by at least one gallon of water, refer to the owner’s manual.
  • Dump existing ice and flush the water feed lines, making and discarding three batches of ice cubes.
  • After flushing hot water pipes and water heater, run an empty dishwasher one time on the hottest or sanitize cycle.
  • Run water softener through a full regeneration cycle.
  • Remove and replace filters in portable and furnace humidifiers.

Restaurants and food service facilities should refer to guidance from the Kent County Health Department concerning requirements for their operations.

Mark Washington
Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington said he is “grateful” for the staff’s response to the water boil advisory.

City Manager Mark Washington said that he’s grateful for the staff’s quick response and diligence during the boil water period. “While this has certainly been a disruption for our community, our Water Department employees were able to quickly identify and correct the issue while staff from departments across the organization pulled together to support our residents compassionately and professionally. This is exactly what our community expects in challenging times and our employees never fail to deliver.”

“While we’re all able to return to a sense of normalcy, our work internally is just starting as we continue to assess this event, determine lessons learned, and refine how the City might improve our response to potential issues in the future,” added Washington.

Mayor Bliss praised the unity and resiliency demonstrated by the community throughout the ordeal. “When times are tough, the true character of our city shines through and Grand Rapidians always shine bright. I can’t thank our residents enough for their patience as our Water Department and City employees worked day and night to restore our water system.”

City of Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. courtesy photo.

“Our Neighborhood Associations, community organizations, non-profit partners, and volunteers stepped up – as they always do – to help share the load. And many in our business community, from the thousands of cases of water donated by SpartanNash and Meijer to the smaller services and donations provided directly to our partners from companies throughout the area, came through when we needed them. While it can be easy in these situations to focus on the negative, I often find this is when we are at our best as a community.”

If you have further questions, or need to report a water/sewer emergency, please contact customer service by dialing 616-456-3000, or dial 3-1-1 if you are within the city limits.

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March 19, 2024, 3:32 p.m.
The City of Grand Rapids will continue hosting water bottle distribution for those impacted by the ongoing Boil Water Advisory. Affected residents will be provided one case of water per vehicle, courtesy of SpartanNash, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., 20 March, 2024 while supplies last.

Drivers are asked to access the distribution point located at the Huff Park baseball field parking lot at 2399 Ball Ave NE. Traffic patterns in the area will be adjusted to accommodate the distribution so please be patient and follow staff instructions and temporary signs.

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March 19, 2024 UPDATE: Water sample tests reveal ‘positive’ sign: The City of Grand Rapids released the following information regarding the ongoing “water boil” advisory.

The City of Grand Rapids has finished conducting the first round of water sampling, conducted in accordance with state and federal regulations. The results have come back NEGATIVE. This is a positive sign.

The water system has been flushed and the City is currently preparing for another round of sampling.

The Boil Water Advisory remains in effect for affected areas. Please visit the CDC link below for information regarding dos and don’ts for keeping you and your family safe during a Boil Water Advisory.

www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/drinking/drinking-water-advisories/boil-water-advisory.html?

When the Boil Water Advisory is lifted, affected community members will receive another notification and official Grand Rapids communication platforms will distribute information regarding next steps for businesses and households.

The City of Grand Rapids will continue hosting water bottle distribution for those impacted by the ongoing Boil Water Advisory. Affected residents will be provided one case of water per vehicle, courtesy of SpartanNash, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 19 March, 2024 while supplies last.

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March 18, 2024:

Grand Rapids residents affected by the ongoing “Boil Water” advisory are able to collect bottles of water thanks to community efforts. SpartanNash, in conjunction with the City of Grand Rapids, will host a water bottle distribution event this evening, March 18, from 5-8 p.m.

Impacted residents will be provided one case of water per vehicle.

Drivers are asked to access the distribution point at 1635 Leonard St. NE. Traffic patterns in the area will be adjusted to accommodate the distribution so please be patient and follow staff instructions and temporary signs.

On March 17, the City of Grand Rapids issued a formal Boil Water Advisory for the area generally bounded East of US 131 and North of Hall Street. Visit the city’s website to view a map of the specific boundaries. Access updates here: www.grandrapidsmi.gov/Boil-Water-Advisory-Updates

The notice is required due to a water main break in the vicinity of Leonard St. NE and Union Ave. NE.

Crews have begun repairs and water pressure has been restored. A typical Boil Water Advisory lasts 3-4 days, as we flush the system and sample according to State and Federal requirements once the main break is fixed. Another notification will be distributed when the advisory is lifted.

Please visit this CDC link for information regarding dos and don’ts for keeping you and your family safe during a Boil Water Advisory.

If you are in the affected area, DO NOT drink tap water without boiling it first. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and allow to cool before using. Boiling kills bacteria and other harmful organisms in the water. If you have further questions, or need to report a water/sewer emergency, please contact customer service by dialing 616-456-3000, or dial 3-1-1 if you are within the city limits.

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