MVSD Engineer: With ice gone at reservoir, water's taste, odor should improve

YSU will continue to study problems at the reservoir.
MINERAL RIDGE -- The disappearance of the ice cover on Meander Reservoir in the past two weeks bodes well for the taste and odor of the water, according to the chief engineer for the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District.
With the ice cover having melted, the wind can again churn and aerate the water, and the district hopes taste and odor problems caused by a cold-water algae called synura will be avoided, explained Dave Tabak, chief engineer for the district, which supplies water from the reservoir to Youngstown, Niles and surrounding communities.
"I don't know if I want to say right now that we're out of the woods. I'm hoping that the ice cover doesn't come back," he told the MVSD board of directors Wednesday.
Reservoir conditions: Last month, John Zackasee, MVSD's purification superintendent, had expressed concern that algae growth would be promoted by heavy rainfall that carried nutrients into the reservoir late last year, coupled with clear ice with no snow on top, which was acting as a window for sunlight to pass through. The algae causes a cucumber or fishy taste, he said.
Also, last month, the district renewed its agreement with Youngstown State University, which monitors the water and studies the causes of the reservoir's intermittent algae problem.
YSU found the algae throughout the reservoir but determined it was most prevalent in the top 10 feet of water near the Ohltown bridge about a mile and a half from the MVSD plant's water intake, Tabak said Wednesday.
Other business: In other action Wednesday, the board authorized its treasurer, Alan Tatalovich, to gather information in preparation for the sale of about $125,000 worth of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield stock the district recently acquired when Anthem became a publicly traded company. Anthem provides the district with employee health insurance.
State law prohibits the district from owning stock, he said.
The board also bought two Dodge trucks for $37,813 from Arena Dodge of Dayton and renewed for 2002 its workers' compensation contract with Professional Risk Management Inc. of Boardman for $6,000.
It also spent more than an hour in executive session with an electronic-security consultant but adjourned without taking any action.

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