Major problems at water treatment plant in Highland Park force shutdown

HIGHLAND PARK, MI (WXYZ) - Action News has been reporting on problems at Highland Park's Water Treatment Plant and now the city's Mayor has announced an "emergency decision to temporarily discontinue operations" at the aging facility.

Kris Donaldson from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) says the plant has been in such disrepair for so long that some valves won't even open and close properly.

"It's critical that they make these repairs to prevent a water quality issue," says Donaldson.

About three weeks ago, Highland Park officials switched to have the Detroit Water Department provide water service to their residents while "critical" repairs were being made at the facility. But Donaldson says they are discovering the problems are more extensive.

Experts estimate a minimum of $10 million is needed to fully repair the facility that has crumbling walls.

Coming up at a press conference on Monday, Highland Park Mayor DeAndre Windom is set to discuss the decision to shutdown the water treatment plant.

Windom is also expected to discuss a new water advisory board that will be analyzing the city's water treatment operation and recommending long-term solutions.

It's unclear how the shutdown of the plant could affect the cash-strapped city financially.

Windom says some of the money generated by providing water service to residents goes into Highland Park's general fund.

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