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Water Company Hopeful That Boil Order Can Be Lifted Soon

By Jason Togyer
The Tube City Almanac
November 07, 2017
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Above: Clairton city officials have put a water buffalo with fresh drinking water at the municipal building. (Photo courtesy Mayor Rich Lattanzi, via Facebook.)

Officials at Pennsylvania-American Water Co. are hopeful that a boil-water advisory affecting 100,000 customers in the Mon Valley, South Hills and Washington County can be lifted within the next 24 hours.

Melissa Walters, a spokeswoman for the water company, said Tuesday afternoon that the turbidity --- cloudiness --- in the water that caused the advisory to be issued has been fixed.

"The actual issue was resolved last night, but after any boil advisory we are required by the (state Department of Environmental Protection) to have two clean water samples 24 hours apart," Walters said, "which means the earliest we can lift the advisory is tomorrow afternoon."

Some PAWC customers were urged Monday evening to either use bottled water for cooking, drinking and brushing their teeth, or to bring water to a boil, boil it for at least one minute, and then let it cool before using it.

Mon-Yough communities affected include Clairton, Dravosburg, Elizabeth, Elizabeth Twp., Forward Twp., Glassport, Jefferson Hills, Liberty, Lincoln and West Elizabeth, as well as Finleyville, Union Twp., Monongahela and New Eagle.

"Water buffaloes," or tankers, providing clean drinking water have been put in place in nine locations, according to Pennsylvania-American Water Co., including the Carroll Twp. volunteer fire department and the Elrama volunteer fire department.

A water buffalo has also been put in place for Clairton residents at City Hall, Mayor Rich Lattanzi announced on Facebook. "Please be courteous and save some for your neighbors," he said.

Liberty Borough volunteer fire department announced, also via Facebook, that Servpro and Pennsylvania-American Water had donated cases of drinking water for residents, though supplies were limited.

Dravosburg officials announced Tuesday afternoon on Facebook that a water tanker is also available at their municipal building for borough residents.

Some residents of Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln and other communities have complained about a lack of water tankers.

Pennsylvania-American water is working to get more tankers into the community, Walters said, and will announce the locations when they become available.

The company does not yet know the exact cause of the cloudiness in the water, she said, and is focused on getting the boil-water advisory lifted.

Reports that a water main break caused the situation are not accurate, Walters said.

"It was not a (water) main break, because we didn't have one," she said.

Classes were cancelled Tuesday for students in the South Allegheny School District, though 12-month employees were asked to report.

Pennsylvania-American Water has placed tankers in the following locations, according to Walters:

  • Bethel Park Community Center: 5151 Park Ave.
  • Canonsburg Dam parking lot: McDowell Road, Peters Twp.
  • Canonsburg United Presbyterian Church: 112 West Pike St.
  • Carroll Twp. Volunteer Fire Department: 988 Route 837
  • Elrama Volunteer Fire Company: 17 Elrama Ave., Union Twp.
  • North Strabane Twp. Fire Department: 2550 Washington Road
  • South Fayette Twp. Library: 515 Millers Run Road
  • South Park Twp. Library: 2575 Brownsville Road
  • Upper St Clair Community & Recreation Center: 1551 Mayview Road

Originally published November 07, 2017.

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