UPDATE (May 29): The Dayton city and Montgomery County water systems have been restored to full power and the water pressure is expected to increase throughout the system Wednesday night. However, the boil advisory remains in place, officials said at a news conference from City Hall.
Water outages continue across parts of Dayton and Montgomery County Wednesday morning and county water officials are urging all county water customers to conserve water usage to avoid a total system depressurization.
"We are still in an emergency situation," said Brianna Wooten, spokeswoman for Montgomery County.
>> Boil advisory remains in effect; EPA water sample results expected today
Dayton city officials said approximately 60,000 city water customers were without water Wednesday morning. The city was able to start filling the high pressure area Wednesday afternoon and expects customers to see gradual improvement in their water supply by the early evening.
However, the city is still under a boil advisory.
Montgomery County estimates that 32,000 homes and businesses are without water and 54,000 are under a boil advisory.
The county is still evaluating and getting estimates on the number and locations of customers who are still without water in sections of its service area, Wooten said Wednesday morning.
The city’s water production is normally 65 million gallons per day, however the city is currently pumping 40 million gallons per day. The city said the 40 million gallons has allowed the city to serve approximately 2/3 of the city’s customers.
The city’s water system is separated into high and low service areas.
“The water plant will fill the low and then start filling the high. We have approximately 60,000 citizens out of water in the high zone,” city spokeswoman Toni Bankston said.
Dayton Power and Light has restored power to one of two wellfields in the city, however the second wellfield is running through backup generators.
“We are awaiting power restoration to the Ottawa Pump Station so we can add more water to the system. If this is successful, we hope to increase volume into the high system,” Bankston said.
Wooten said the county has been able to stabilize its south system, which services communities like Kettering and Centerville, but acknowledged there are still water outages in the north system, which services Trotwood, Harrison Twp. and Brookville.
Wooten said it is critical for all county water customers to avoid using sprinklers and any other non-essential water use in all of Montgomery County, including the southern communities.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY WATER CUSTOMERS WITH QUESTIONS:
MONTGOMERY COUNTY WATER CUSTOMER SERVICE: 937-781-2688
(NOTE: This number is only for Montgomery County customers, not Dayton)
The storm damage in the area is extensive and Wooten said some of the pumps haven’t been able to be accessed due to the damage.
The county is working with Warren County, West Carrollton and other neighboring water service municipalities to access emergency interconnect lines to help with water recovery.
Dayton’s city water system, which delivers drinking water to 400,000 residents in Montgomery County and a handful in Greene County, lost pressure for the second time this year following severe storms Monday evening.
Wooten said the city was not at full production Wednesday morning.
Before this year, city employees estimate the water system went more than 30 years without losing pressure. But Monday’s storms challenged the system for the second time in 2019, cutting power to two water treatment plants and several pumping stations.
“It’s an extraordinary event that we have never had in the history of the city,” said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.
The reoccurring pressure losses are causing Montgomery County officials to consider whether additional, non-Dayton water sources are needed to ensure stability for customers in communities that purchase Dayton water from the county.
After pumping and treating water from the underground aquifer, Dayton sells the water to Montgomery County. The county then re-sells the water to communities including Kettering, Centerville, Moraine, Trotwood and Riverside.
“We probably will be looking to see if we have enough redundancy in the system,” said Michael Colbert, the county administrator. “We have a clear problem with our ability to keep a sustained water flow.”