September 22, 2014

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Mayor: Avon could run out of water

This photo shows the area of Avon Lake where the water intake facility is. The intake is under water and there is nothing on the surface to see. There are bands of ice and open water. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Frozen intake pipes in Lake Erie have resulted in a water emergency for many Lorain County residents, and Avon Mayor Bryan Jensen said it is possible the city will run out of water tonight. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

The city of Avon may run out of water before a frozen intake pipe in Lake Erie, supplying the city’s water, is fixed.

Avon Mayor Bryan Jensen said the city has been notified by Avon Lake Municipal Utilities that the water situation could reach critically low levels.

“Avon Lake has warned us we’re at a critical stage. They told us we could reach the point at any moment,” he said Wednesday afternoon.

The city has sent out a mass emergency alert to residents to refrain from using water while it works to connect to neighboring cities, such as North Ridgeville. It will also have a Fire Department tanker for emergency fresh water use, if needed. The system generally uses 9 million gallons of water a day, supplying 200,000 customers across Lorain County and into Medina County. Some cities, such as North Ridgeville, have water supplied from other sources, too.

Avon receives its water solely from Avon Lake Municipal Utilities.

Jensen said the water shortage has affected a variety of businesses, which shut down for the day. The city has informed the Richard E. Jacobs Health Center and EMH Avon Health Campus of the situation.

On Wednesday afternoon, the county commissioners issued an emergency disaster declaration that could, if needed, allow them to seek aid from the National Guard if the situation grows more severe. That isn’t needed at this point, and the declaration was issued as a precaution.