No permanent damage caused by electrical failure that led to water problems

By David Skolnick


The electrical failure at a pump station that led to water loss or low pressure and a subsequent boil-water alert in Austintown and Canfield townships didn’t cause any permanent damage.

“The backup generator went on and off six times, and the last one tripped the electric breaker,” said Eugene Leson Jr., chief engineer for the Youngstown Water Department, which sells water to residents in the two townships. “There is no damage to the pump station whatsoever. Everything is working as it should.”

The tripped breaker at the Webb Road pump station forced Youngstown water customers in the two townships to have low water pressure or be completely without water for about two hours Sunday night.

Following a guideline of the federal Environmental Protection Agency when there is a “significant loss of service,” Leson said the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District had drinking-water samples tested Monday morning. The results take about 24 hours, he said.

About noon Tuesday, the results showed there wasn’t any contamination in the water, as expected, Leson said.

If the water was contaminated, those who drank it likely would have had “nausea and stomach sickness,” he said. Testing “was strictly a precautionary measure.”

The Mahoning County District Board of Health advised those in Austintown and Canfield who were impacted by the pressure problem to take certain measures before using the water again to ensure safety.

They include: flushing waterlines for at least two minutes; cleaning faucet screens and waterline strainers on mechanical dishwashers and similar equipment; and purging all water-using fixtures and appliances of standing water, such as ice machines, beverage makers and water heaters.

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