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Mercury Found During Work, But Farmington Hills Water Is Safe: Report

The mercury was found in a pipe that isn’t used to supply water, but was tested “out of an abundance of caution,” Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash said.

Water is safe to drink in Farmington Hills, Water Commissioner Jim Nash said. Mercury was found in a pipe that is not used to deliver water to residents, but water was tested anyway as a precautionary measure. (Patch file photo)
Water is safe to drink in Farmington Hills, Water Commissioner Jim Nash said. Mercury was found in a pipe that is not used to deliver water to residents, but water was tested anyway as a precautionary measure. (Patch file photo)

During a Farmington Hills water system improvement project near Fourteen Mile and Halsted Roads, mercury was found in a pipe that previously had been taken out of service and is not being currently used to supply water to residents.

The project at this site involved installing new valves and controls on the water system, and is being performed under the direction of the office of the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) has also been working on this site to replace a water billing meter.

Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash said that even though the pipe where the mercury was found is not being used to supply water to residents, the WRC has performed multiple tests in the water system to ensure that the drinking water was not affected.

“As expected, the tests came back showing that the water was safe to drink and use,” Nash said. “We tested out of an abundance of caution so residents can be assured that their drinking water is safe.”

All required communication and regulatory protocols were followed by the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.      

Although public notification is not required, officials with the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s office decided to release the information in order to be more transparent.    

Nash added that DWSD contractors who specialize in mercury remediation have properly disposed of the material found at the site.

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