Dayton officials hope to inspect broken water main soon

Local News

City officials say they want to inspect and repair the water main that caused last week’s widespread outage in Montgomery County as soon as possible.

A week after the water outage, which impacted thousands of people, crews are still waiting to inspect the pipe in the Great Miami River. According to Michael Powell, director of the Dayton water department, river levels remain too high.

City officials are still considering changes in protocol after last week’s outage, Powell said.

The concrete transmission pipe that failed was less than 30 years old, according to Shelley Dickstein, Dayton city manager. Right now, officials are not blaming the infrastructure itself for causing the break, she added.

While officials have yet to pinpoint the exact cause of the leak, the environment could be a possible factor, Dickstein said.

“I view these water main breaks of really young pipes that are concrete much like a pothole,” said Mayor Nan Whaley. “The extreme temperature has an effect on our infrastructure.”

“We’re working now on sort of some plans to address the issue sooner than later if the river doesn’t cooperate as soon as we want it to,” Powell said of the inspection and repair process.

Officials will be able to determine what needs to change going forward once the pipe is checked out, he said.

“We look at consequences of failure, likelihoods of failure, all of those sorts of things to kind of rescore every last pipe within our system,” Powell said. “So the data from this will be helpful.”

Mayor Whaley said although incidents like this are rare, she’s open to changes to improve the system.

“Of course, we’ll find ways to make it better, should we never have this happen again,” she said. “But just in case, we’ll always work to be better prepared.”

The water remains safe to drink, Whaley said.

Since the broken pipe has been isolated, the water system can continue to operate wiithout it over the long term, Powell said.

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