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McKeesport, Versailles residents to boil water; Port Vue, White Oak ordered to conserve
An equipment failure at the McKeesport Water Treatment Plant has some customers under a mandatory conservation order, and others being advised to boil their water as a precaution.
The orders were issued by Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County on Saturday night. More than 16,000 customers are affected.
Customers in McKeesport and Versailles Borough are being advised to boil their water for at least one minute before drinking or cooking with it, while customers in Port Vue and White Oak have been ordered to conserve water.
Water tankers have been placed at 238 Atlantic Ave. in lower 10th Ward; UPMC McKeesport hospital; the intersection of Walnut and 12th streets in Third Ward; and Walnut and Juniper streets in Versailles, said Matthew Junker, spokesman for the water authority.
Junker said that an intake pump that draws water from the Youghiogheny River at the McKeesport plant failed.
Repairs to the pump are expected to take about eight hours, he said.
While the plant is shut down, there is a risk of a loss of water pressure in the system, Junker said.
"A loss of positive water pressure is a signal of the existence of conditions that could allow contamination to enter the distribution system through back-flow by back pressure or back-siphonage," he said. "As a result, there is an increased chance that the water may contain disease-causing organisms."
Customers in McKeesport and White Oak are being advised to boil their water and let it cool before using it for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and food preparation until further notice. Bottled water also may be used.
Originally published October 12, 2019.