Residents in the affected communities are prohibited from activities such as watering lawns and shrubs, washing cars or sidewalks, filling swimming pools, and operating artificial waterfalls or decorative fountains.
The outage is also affecting some customers of Pennsylvania-American Water Co. in Forward Twp. who draw their water from the MAWC system, according to a PAWC spokesman.
“The repairs are making good progress, but thus far are tentative in nature, so we are unable to forecast when a return to normal service will occur,” said Michael F. Kukura, resident manager of the MAWC, in a prepared statement.
Approximately 107,000 of the authority's 120,000 customers in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties are affected. Residents of McKeesport, Port Vue and White Oak are not affected because their water comes from the McKeesport treatment plant near the 15th Avenue Bridge.
A spokesman for MAWC said that on Sunday, a power surge in a substation destroyed several pieces of equipment at the authority's Indian Creek Water Treatment Plant near Connellsville. The pumps move waterthrough the plant, and ultimately, to water towers throughout the MAWC service area, the spokesman said.
The Indian Creek system serves the southern portion of MAWC’s service area. It is being supplemented by water from the northern, or Beaver Run, plant in the MAWC system.
The water is safe to use, but supplies are limited, MAWC said.
"We are continuing to ask people to conserve so that we don’t run out of water,” said Brian Hohman, business manager of the MAWC, in a prepared statement.
Customers should use the minimum rate necessary for drinking, cooking and bathing, he said. Systems which purchase water from MAWC are also being asked to cut back.
Originally published May 15, 2017.