Detroit Y2k water advice won't wash in Flint ("If everyone fills the tub before midnight, it will deplete our water supplies.") : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


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Detroit Y2K water advice won't wash in Flint

Thursday, December 23, 1999


FLINT - The Detroit water department's advice urging county residents to fill their bathtubs just in case "Y2Kaos" erupts is all wet, some local officials say. In the letter, water officials say the Detroit department has spent $50 million on Y2K readiness and expects no problems, but urges people to fill their bathtubs by 10 p.m. Dec. 31 for uses such as flushing toilets.

The water used by residents in Flint and most other Genesee County communities is purchased from Detroit.

But Genesee County Drain Commissioner Ken Harden said if area residents follow that advice, it will deplete the county's reserves.

"It's too late in the game to start having a scare tactic out there," Hardin said. "If everyone fills the tub before midnight, it will deplete our water supplies."

Genesee County's water is stored largely in towers, not in large reservoirs. That means supplies will go quickly if households across the county start filling their tubs around the same time.

"We'll have to bring in someone two days before to make sure our towers are filled manually," Hardin said.

One resident Hardin doesn't have to worry about is Jared Hunt of Flint Township, who sees the Detroit water department letter as "yet another knee-jerk Y2K news tidbit.

"More than likely, nothing's going to happen, and they know that," Hunt said. "All this does is get people all worked up unnecessarily.

"I'm sick and tired of it. I'll be glad when Jan. 1 gets here."

Flint City Engineer Hans J. Kuhlmann said he doesn't expect problems, but said residents might want to keep extra water on hand, just in case.

"We want to ensure that people are dry and comfortable," he said. "But we're not feeling like anything will happen."

But Veronica D. Lewis of Flint plans to fill her tub, just in case.

"You never know what will happen, so it can't hurt to be on the safe side," she said.

Hardin urges people not to start filling their bathtubs at 10 p.m. Dec. 31. If residents still plan to fill their tubs, they should do it three days in advance, he said.

"We'll have extra staff on that night," he said. "We want to make sure our pump stations are working, for sewage."

The much-hyped Y2K computer bug is the inability of some computers to recognize the digits "00" as the Year 2000. Some fear that could cause computers to fail and disrupt electricity, water and other essential services.

Marlon Vaughn covers Flint city government, neighborhoods and social services. He can be reached at (810) 766-6324.

-- Homer Beanfang (, December 23, 1999


"Hardin urges people not to start filling their bathtubs at 10 p.m. Dec. 31. If residents still plan to fill their tubs, they should do it three days in advance, he said."

Hold on..............BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

3 DAYS IN ADVANCE!! So, the whole family should share the bathtub water for 3 days and if the things go wrong on Jan 1st, keep using the same water. Does the word "idiot" come to mind?

-- Familyman (, December 23, 1999.

Okay, fill the tub, sinks, what-have-you sometime on the 31st. Then what?

On the first, if the power and heat go out, the house assumes outdoor temp. within about 24 hours.

Got ice-picks?

-- just another (, December 23, 1999.

And the DETROIT WATER DEPARTMENT is now stooping to scare tactics???

Geez, is it me or is the world in the terminal stages of going nuts?

-- mushroom (, December 23, 1999.

What did he mean about filling the towers manually? Exactly how many coolies and how many buckets is that? How is pumping the water in late December different from pumping it last summer?

-- bw (home@puget.sound), December 23, 1999.

Thanks for the article. But of course, its BS. I live in the Detroit area and know that the system has plenty of capacity to feed people filling bath tubs. What do they think the draw is when people water their lawns on a hot day? This water comes from Lake St. Claire (great lakes, pretty much bottomless).

I can't imagine why they'd think more water would be available on 12/28 than 12/31. Sounds bogus.

-- Gary S. (, December 23, 1999.

I figured everyone would fill up their tubs, sinks, etc. then when everything looks ok they'll drain them and swamp the sewer dept. that could be having trouble. They'll have another LA on their hands...

-- Rubba (DubDub@3menina.tub), December 23, 1999.

"Detroit Y2k water advice won't wash in Flint".

Flint's personal hygeine habits are now known by all!! Take a bath already, will ya? Anyone else smell that?

196 1/2 hours...

-- counting down (, December 23, 1999.

Detroit also gets its water from Lake Huron via pipeline. gm

-- gm (, December 23, 1999.

All the good natured humor aside, what really bothers me with this filling the tub idea is, what about those folks who have little kids?

There is so much activity going on around the holiday season, especially on this new millennium's eve.

If parents, grandparents, babysitters, or other caretakers are busy trying to get some form of home lighting working if the power goes off, will they remember to keep junior out of the bathroom?

I've seen so much in the news in the last few years warning about the hazards of water buckets and small children. Many little lives have been lost because adults did not realize filled buckets/pails could be deadly. So, if TPTB are telling folks to fill their tubs, especially THREE days ahead of time, they also need to warn about keeping little ones safe; not to mention Uncle Earl who comes home loaded after a big night on the town.

Just my two cents. A concerned citizen.

-- Lurkess (Lurkess@Lurking.Net), December 23, 1999.

Let me see, there seems to be something odd here.

I know - Detroit has had its water supply depleted every Saturday night for 100 years now - and nobody got around to noticing it until just this week.

I knew something smelled funny last time I was in Detroit! Nobody in town has ever taken a bath!

People, if this article proves anything, it proves that damn fools are everywhere. Some of them are even public servants!


-- HA HA (like the nasty kid on the Simpsons) (, December 25, 1999.

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