GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- When Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell today urged citizens to "shower with a friend," he was only half kidding.
Heartwell said people around the city and its surrounding suburbs should conserve their use of water, including showers and toilet flushes. That is to relieve the demands on the waste water treatment plant that serves the Grand Rapids region.
The city is taking what Heartwell called "extraordinary measures" to make sure the facility on Market Avenue is not a flood victim. It's not expected water would overflow the plant, but to be certain it doesn't, extra sand is being put in place in the berms that surround it.
"That's where the biggest concern is right now, if that's overwhelmed then we could be in some serious trouble. That's why we're putting every resource into making sure that facility is safe from flooding," Heartwell told WZZM 13 Thursday.
Grandville also asking its residents to conserve water use. Below is a news release from the city manager:
The current flooding conditions have contributed to extremely high flow volumes at the Grandville Clean Water Plant. In order to reduce these flows, all water users of the Grandville Sanitary Sewer System are requested to voluntarily reduce their discretionary use of water as much as possible until further notice.
To be clear, this is a request to reduce the DISCHARGE of water to the sanitary sewer system. There are NO issues with drinking water quality. Reducing discretionary water use could assist in preventing sewer backup situations.
Examples of voluntary water use reductions: Defer to the extent possible the washing of clothes or dishes, unnecessary showers/baths and other discretionary water uses until system flows are reduced.
Areas served by the Grandville CWP include the City of Grandville, Georgetown Township, City of Hudsonville and portions of Jamestown and Blendon Townships in Ottawa County.