Dayton water main break: North Keowee Street to close for 3 weeks for permanent repairs

Dayton water main break: Some neighborhoods still without water service; boil advisory in effect

DAYTON — UPDATE @ 7 a.m. (Aug. 18):

North Keowee St. will closed again Tuesday and will remain closed for three weeks to continue repairs to a water main that ruptured earlier this month.

City work crews shut down North Keowee Street near East First Street around 7 a.m. Tuesday.

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We’ll continue to update this story as new details become available.


UPDATE @ 7:55 a.m. (Aug. 10):

The City of Dayton plans to close North Keowee Street near East First Street today while crews begin making permanent repairs to a large water main that ruptured last week.

North Keowee Street was reopened for the weekend, before the planned re-closure Monday morning.

It was not known how long the repairs will take or when North Keowee Street will reopen.

We’ll continue to update this story as new details become available.

UPDATE @ 2:35 p.m. (Aug. 7):

The City of Dayton plans to reopen North Keowee Street near East First Street Friday afternoon for the weekend, before permanent repairs to a broken water main will be made next week.

The roadway will be closed Monday morning so crews can begin making those permanent repairs.

North Keowee Street has been closed since Monday afternoon after a massive water main break disrupted water service to several parts of the city.

A boil advisory was issued after service was restored and the advisory was officially lifted for all city water customers Wednesday.

We’ll continue to update this story as we learn more.

UPDATE @ 6:13 p.m. (Aug. 5): The water boil advisory for ALL city of Dayton water customers is canceled. City of Dayton water customers do not need to boil water prior to consumption.

North Keowee, between First and Valley streets, remains closed until further notice for repairs.

As of 4:45 p.m. today [Wednesday], all water samples collected by the city of Dayton were absent of bacteria.

City customers are advised of the following before using tap water:

  • If water has not been used for several hours, run the tap until there is a noticeable temperature drop.
  • Then, run water for 30 seconds to 3 minutes before using it for drinking and cooking. This helps flush water that may have contained lead that may have leached from plumbing.
  • Clean your faucet aerator. Flushing water lines includes interior and exterior faucets, showers, water and ice dispensers.

UPDATE @ 8:35 a.m. (Aug. 5):

City of Dayton officials lifted part of the water boil advisory for parts of the downtown area, however some neighborhoods remain under the advisory.

The Belmont and Patterson Park neighborhoods, which were impacted by the water service outage, remain under the boil advisory, city officials said.

An updated map showing the areas still under the boil advisory can be found here. Those questioning if they are under the boil advisory can contact the city at 937-333-4905.

As of 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, all water samples collected by the city did not contain bacteria.

For those still under the boil advisory, residents are asked to:

  • Flush all taps used for drinking and cooking at least 3 minutes.
  • Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for at least one minute, and let it cool before using or use bottled water.
  • Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.

UPDATE @ 6 p.m. (Aug. 4):

City officials hope to lift the boil water advisory Wednesday because of the progress made on the large water main on North Keowee Street, City Manager Shelley Dickstein said at a news briefing minutes ago.

A “booster” that has been installed, along with a new valve that is helping to backfill reservoirs in the city’s low system, means water customers south in the affected areas of Belmont and Patterson Park should see improvements in their water pressure sometime this evening, Dickstein said.

They will still have to boil water until further notice because the city is taking samples from the repaired lines to the Ohio EPA to be checked for bacteria. Once the OEPA gives the OK on those samples, the boil advisory can be lifted, she said.

City crews repaired a 48-inch main and a 36-inch main that run from the Ottawa Street water plant about 9:45 p.m. Monday, she said. Both lines ruptured Monday afternoon.

By 8 a.m. today, an estimated 17,000 of the city's 27,000 water customers in the low system had their water pressure restored.

A problem with the high system refilling to reservoirs prompted crews to install a valve on a 24-inch line associated with the two larger lines.

Dickstein said the 48- and 36-inch pipes are crossed and right next to each other closest to the Ottawa Street plant because an estimated 90 million gallons of water are pushed through those lines every day. The farther away the lines are from the plant, the lines will not be crossed.

"I appreciate the frustration. We feel it at the city, too," Dickstein said in answer to a question News Center 7's Mike Campbell asked about water customers being frustrated with the third water problem in 18 months.

"You can never promise or stop water main breaks from occurring," she said.

Dickstein did say one of the issues with this week’s water main break is that the 48-inch pipe was installed in the 1950s, when postwar materials were not as strong as piping installed in the 1800s or what is installed today.

“Pipes installed in the 1950s is notorious for breaking,” she said, noting the city will be evaluating the 2,000 miles of water lines to check the ages and manufacturing.

She doesn't yet know how water has been spilled in the water main break, partly because the crews that would calculate that are focused on the repairs.

“That will be something that we drill into in the days ahead,” she said.

UPDATE @ 12 p.m. (Aug. 4):

Water service has been restored to the majority of Dayton residents, however portions of the Belmont and Patterson Park neighborhoods in Dayton remain without water service after the large water main break on North Keowee Street Monday, a City of Dayton spokesperson told News Center 7 Tuesday morning.

Areas that are still without water are expected to have water service restored sometime today, Toni Bankston, spokeswoman for the city said. An estimated time of restoration was not available.

The neighborhoods still without water service were part of the isolation needed as a result of the break. City crews are still in the process of rerouting water around the main break on North Keowee Street to those areas still without water, Bankston said.

The county will hold a free bottled water distribution today from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Belmont High School, 2615 Wayne Avenue, and the Lohrey Recreation Center, 2366 Glenarm Avenue.

The precautionary boil advisory remains in effect for portions of Dayton that lost water pressure during the break yesterday. A map of the boil advisory area can be found here:

The boil advisory is in effect only for some City of Dayton water customers and does not impact Montgomery County water customers.

While the boil advisory is in effect, residents should:

  • Flush all taps used for drinking and cooking at least 3 minutes.
  • Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for at least one minute, and let it cool before using or use bottled water.
  • Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.

We’ll continue to update this story with the latest as new details become available.

PREVIOUS REPORT:

A precautionary boil water advisory is in effect until further notice for areas in the city affected by the loss of water pressure from Monday afternoon’s large water main break, City Manager Shelley Dickstein said.

Montgomery County water customers are NOT under a boil advisory. Right now, only some city of Dayton water customers are under the boil advisory.

The reservoirs that began to empty because of the lost water pressure are filling now, she said, but anywhere water pressure fell below 20 psi will be asked to boil their water before using it.

Dickstein said early Monday afternoon, city water department crews at the Ottawa Water Plant noticed the loss of pressure. City crews are now in the final stages of isolating the break. However, because of the water system’s redundancy, the water department was able to reconfigure the Miami Water Treatment Plant to compensate for the Ottawa Plant’s production to the low pressure system.

Dickstein and Mike Powell, city water director, said they won’t know the extent of the damage until crews excavate to get a look at the affected pipes so they can give an evaluation. That process should occur during the next 12 hours.

City water maintenance crews are taking samples this evening to make sure there is no bacteria in system, she said, and water maintenance and the Ohio EPA are working to see which areas need to be put under the boil advisory.

North Keowee Street, between Valley and East First streets, will remain closed until further notice.

A precautionary boil water advisory is issued when the water system experiences a loss in positive water pressure, typically because of a main break.

Mayor Nan Whaley said residents returning to their homes this evening might see some water pressure issued, but water pressure should be OK by Tuesday morning. She asked residents experiencing continuing water pressure issues to call 937-333-4905.

While the boil advisory is in effect, residents should:

  • Flush all taps used for drinking and cooking at least 3 minutes.
  • Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for at least one minute, and let it cool before using or use bottled water.
  • Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.

EARLIER REPORT (Aug. 3):

Crews are working to assess a large water main break in Dayton that has disrupted water service to parts of the city.

The break was reported on North Keowee Street near East First Street around 2 p.m. and flooded a portion of North Keowee Street. A City of Dayton spokesperson said the break was in a 48-inch water main. For perspective, the water main that was damaged and caused a massive water outage in February 2019 was 36 inches.

Montgomery County is asking residents to conserve water while Dayton crews work to get the break under control.

City of Dayton officials said they are tentatively planning to have a press conference to provide an update sometime this afternoon or evening.

“We are closely monitoring our water towers and at this time, our residents should attempt to conserve water to reduce the strain on the combined system. Please be on the lookout for additional updates,” the statement read.

Miami Valley Hospital has reported that they too are impacted by the water main break.

“The hospital has switched to reserve water supplies and bottled water, and continues to maintain normal operations while the main is repaired,” said Ben Sutherly, spokesman for Premier Health.

Dayton Children’s Hospital and Grandview Medical Center also is conserving water by using bottled water, however patient care is not impacted at this time, spokespeople for the hospitals said.

Multiple callers into this newsroom indicate low, or no water pressure in parts of east Dayton, including the Belmont area.

“We are in the process of isolating the break and are ramping up production at our Miami plant, which is redundant to our Ottawa Plant,” a City of Dayton spokesperson said in a statement posted to Facebook. “In the meantime, customers may experience low water pressure.”

News Center 7 has asked city officials how widespread the outage is, however that information was not yet available, a city spokesperson said.

Any restaurant, bar, or grocery store that is without water is advised to close until service is restored, a spokesperson for Public Health Dayton & Montgomery County spokes said in an emailed statement.

We are aware of a large main break in our low system. We are in the process of isolating the break and are ramping up...

Posted by Dayton, Ohio - City Government on Monday, August 3, 2020

Any restaurant, bar, or grocery store that is without water is advised to close until service is restored, a spokesperson for Public Health Dayton & Montgomery County spokes said in an emailed statement.

Public health also closed all their facilities in downtown Dayton because they are without water.

We’ll continue to update this story as new details become available.