Whitmer order halts water shutoffs during virus pandemic
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order Saturday requiring communities statewide to restore water service, effectively ending water shutoffs for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the order, public water suppliers must immediately identify homes in their service area that don't currently have water service. Suppliers must then make their best efforts to restore service to occupied residences where water has been shutoff because of non-payment or damaged infrastructure.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy has established a $2 million fund to help local communities comply with the order. Grants will be provided to "high risk areas" that meet certain requirements.
The governor called the move "a critical step both for the health of families ... and for slowing the spread of the coronavirus."
The order is effective for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.