Water customers in the Rome-side of Baltimore, north of the tracks, can now use their municipal water. Testing was completed Thursday morning and the do not use order was lifted. Representatives from the Ohio EPA were also present in the Village Thursday morning. Residents are encouraged to run their water for 20 to 30 minutes to flush the lines prior to consumption. Village Council, at its next meeting, will be discussing water bill credits for the affected area.
I have ordered a complete investigation into what caused a failure at the Water Treatment Plant on January 3, 2018. The Village has engaged an outside engineering firm to perform an independent investigation. Additionally, I have asked that the engineering firm look at all aspects of the Water Treatment Plant. Since the new Water Treatment Plant was put online in early 2016, we have had two separate water issues – first an iron bacteria and now this most recent failure that led to a do not use order. A professional engineer from the firm was in the Village late Thursday morning to begin the investigation. I hope to have a preliminary report in the next ten days.
Here’s what we know so far. Late Wednesday afternoon the Village was notified that water was discolored with a pink to purple hue. Village employees immediately began investigating the issue and obtaining samples. It was determined there was a failure at the Water Treatment Plant which caused an increased amount of sodium permanganate to enter the water supply. The problem was isolated to a small area of the Village, affecting approximately 100 water customers. Approximately an hour after the discoloration was reported, the Village issued a “do not use” order and Fairfield County Emergency Management Agency officials were notified. Local media was also immediately notified. Village employees and Baltimore Police Department officers began walking door to door in the affected area to notify residents and left flyers if no one was home. Basil Joint Fire Department was notified and offered assistance, including walking door to door to notify residents. Once notifications to residents were underway, the Ohio EPA was notified of the problem.
Thursday morning Village employees collected samples and representatives from the Ohio EPA were at the Water Treatment Plant. Once testing was complete and samples were within the safe range, the do not use order was lifted. The do not use order was in effect for approximately 18 hours. The Village will be providing additional information to the Ohio EPA for review once the outside engineering firm’s report is completed.
I want to thank Fairfield County Emergency Management Agency, local media stations and publications, and social media groups for helping the Village contact residents about the contaminated water. I also want to thank the Basil Joint Fire Department, Village employees and Baltimore Police Department for their assistance and resources in notifying residents.
All residents deserve to know what happened to cause this issue and what will be done to prevent anything like this from happening in the future. I will provide additional information once it is available.