Ice Mountain Aids Detroit Emergency Relief Efforts

Aug. 19, 2003
Nearly 400,000 Bottles of Water Were Sent to Detroit to Emergency Relief Centers

With Metropolitan Detroit hit especially hard by the blackout that struck last week, creating immediate water concerns, Ice Mountain aided with Detroit's emergency relief efforts.

The company arranged, with the help of the state, to send more than 15,000 cases (nearly 400,000 bottles) of 20-ounce bottled water to the Wayne County Emergency Operations Center at Detroit Metro Airport, the staging area for all relief operations associated with the blackout. Approximately 15 semitruckloads transported the water to Southeast Michigan. From there, emergency relief workers distributed the water to where it was needed, especially hospitals throughout the area.

"When the governor's office called this morning asking for our help with the situation in the Detroit area, we were willing and prepared to help," said Brendan O'Rourke, Ice Mountain's plant manager. "This is one of the times when bottled water can be really important to people."

The State of Michigan arranged for semitrucks to start arriving at the bottling plant in Stanwood at approximately 1:30 Friday afternoon.

It wasn't until Monday that the boil water advisory was lifted for the Detroit area. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, Detroit's major water system, serves 4.3 million customers.

The five-day water alert applied to 126 communities that use water from the Detroit water system. The Detroit area, which boasts the world's third largest water system, water treatment plants had lower pressure and lower amounts of water pass through the pipes, which allowed oxygen and bacteria to enter the water supplies.

Some Detroit-area gas stations and supermarkets were totally out of bottled water due to the surge in demand.

According to the Detroit Free Press, some restaurant owners had lost between $20,000 and $35,000 due to spoiled food from the power outage and lost business. Other businesses went out in search of bottled water to use and others had to follow the boil water advisory in order to continue foodservice as usual. In Macomb County, some businesses were forced to close until plant water could be back to normal.

Source: Ice Mountain and Water Quality Products