Birds, balky backup power led to water boil alert

Birds, balky backup power led to water boil alert

By ALLISON STROUSE
astrouse@MorningJournal.com

LORAIN — Lorain residents and their drinking water customers were notified of a boil alert on Saturday after water pressure fell when birds colliding with a power line knocked out power to the water plant and a backup generator failed to kick on fully.

Corey Timko, Utilities Director for the City of Lorain, issued the boil alert after a power outage occurred at the plant early on Saturday. The boil alert was declared around 8 a.m. when two birds collided with a power line in front of the Utilities department.

When the power went out the backup generator kicked on partially, but crews had to come in and manually fix it.

“There is an automatic switching gear,” Timko said. “Somehow that got stuck.”

Water pressure fell enough in that time for the Ohio EPA to be called and a boil alert to be issued.

The boil alert affects all of Lorain and then any outside city that is serviced by the City of Lorain.

Cities like Amherst were notified of the boil alert and prompted to contact the Ohio EPA to see if they should issue a warning to their citizens.

“I’m not sure if they need to,” Timko said. “We do it to be conservative.”

While the utilities department was only running off of the generator for roughly two hours, Timko said the boil alert is mainly for water being ingested.

According to Timko most boil alerts last at least 24 hours but can go up to 48 hours. Once the water is tested Timko will be notified of the results and then the boil alert will be able to be liftedThe alert is expected to be lifted at some point on Sunday evening.

This is the third boil alert for the City of Lorain in the past month. On June 8 a boil alert was issued after a storm knocked out the power to the water plant. The second alert was issued on June 23 after crews repaired a water main on Broadway from Fifth Street north to Erie Avenue, and Fifth Street from Broadway west to Reid Avenue.
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