Eastside Detroit residents can resume using tap water amid discoloration concerns

DETROIT Residents of the Cornerstone Village, East English Village and Morningside neighborhoods in Detroit can return to drinking water after flushing their plumbing after an investigation into brown, rusty water from taps.

On Wednesday, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) announced an investigation into the rusty water coming from faucets in the three neighborhoods. Officials said the rust color is due to a disruption in the water pipes in these neighborhoods, which caused sediment to seep into customers’ faucets.

No warning was issued about boiling water, but residents were advised not to use the water for drinking or washing clothes or dishes.


The DWSD said on Wednesday that residents and businesses in these three neighborhoods will be allowed to use the water again, but advised them to: flush their toilets first for 5-10 minutes to remove any sediment left in the pipes.

To flush your plumbing, the DWSD tells:

  • Remove faucet aerators (screens) from all water faucets in your home by unscrewing them clockwise (you may need to use a wrench if you’ve never removed them).

  • Start at the lowest level of your home or business and open all cold water faucets, including sinks, showers, and tubs.

  • Run the water until it runs clear and then for another 5-10 minutes at the last tap you opened on the top floor.

  • Turn off each tap, starting with the first one you opened (bottom floor).

  • Clean the aerators with an old toothbrush, rinse and replace by turning counterclockwise.

If residents in nearby neighborhoods have also experienced rusty, brown water, they should also flush their pipes before using the water again.

Anyone who still has brown water after flushing the pipes should call DWSD at 313-267-8000.

Officials say they are continuing to investigate the cause of the discolored water. On Wednesday, several hundred hydrants were reportedly flushed until the water became clear again.

The investigation into the discolored water expanded to Grosse Pointe Woods on Wednesday evening.


The Grosse Pointe Woods Department of Public Safety said Thursday afternoon that the city of Detroit has discovered a 6-inch water main breach but is still looking for additional issues with the system.

Residents of Grosse Pointe Woods are still encouraged not to use the discolored water for household chores. Officials said when water is rusty and brown, orange or pale yellow, it usually isn’t a health risk, but rather “one of aesthetic quality.”

Officials say residents of Grosse Pointe Woods should regularly check their water every few hours by running it for three minutes to see if it’s clear. If the water does run clear, residents should follow the steps above to flush their pipes.

Rusty Water Reports on Detroit's East Side
Rusty Water Reports on Detroit’s East Side

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