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Security breach reported at Sylvan Township water treatment plant

Drinking Water
Joost Nelissen
Drinking water

A number of homes in Sylvan Township are under a “do not drink” tap water order after someone broke into its water treatment plant over the weekend.

Township officials discovered the security breach Monday morning. State Police say the suspect, described as a 33-year-old male from Belleville, was observed by troopers attempting the exit the building and was arrested.

State Police spokesman Lt. Rene Gonzalez says the man was tampering with the control system and other infrastructure.

“On making into the building, he also spray-painted the windows where he was at in an attempt to not be seen in the building. (It) looked like he might be staying awhile because he had created a makeshift bed.”

Township officials say there’s no visual evidence the water was contaminated, but testing is being done to confirm. That’s hoped to be completed later today.

Residents who use the Sylvan Township water system are being advised to only use tap water for laundry or flushing until the all-clear. Officials say about 300 homes are affected.

The suspect is expected to be arraigned on several charges today or tomorrow.

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News Reporter and Host Kevin Meerschaert was a student reporter at WEMU in the early 90s. After another 30 years in the public radio business and stops in Indiana, Maryland, Florida, and New Mexico, Kevin is back to where it all began.
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