UPDATE — SEE EARLIER STORY BELOW FOR MORE:
North Ridgeville, which contracts for about 75 percent of its water needs from Elyria, reported no problems with its water supply today, according to Al Swindig Jr., a supervisor with the city Service Department.
“We’ve had no problems at all,” Swindig said. “They called us this morning to let us know what was going on, and we turned the water off at Chestnut Ridge and switched back to the system for Avon Lake.”
The city had not received any reports of cloudy water or low water pressure, according to Swindig. The switch to Avon Lake water went smoothly.
“It’s a very simple switch-over,” Swindig said. “We opened four valves. No one felt anything with the water supply.”
North Ridgeville is also getting some water temporarily from the Lorain County Rural Water Authority.
Elyria issued a water conservation alert Monday after a build-up of frazil ice on the intake pipes at the Elyria Water Distribution Plant, which led to a significant drop in the amount of water coming into the plant.
North Ridgeville has contracted with Elyria since 2012 when the city signed a 10-year deal to receive up to 2 million gallons a day. The pact was designed to save the city a substantial sum of money with a rate of $1.21 per 1,000 gallons of water for five years.
That compares to the $1.44 per 1,000 gallons North Ridgeville was paying to Avon Lake.
Swindig said the city will use Avon Lake and LCRWA supplies until it receives word from Elyria that it can safely begin providing water to North Ridgeville again.
ELYRIA – Elyria has issued a water conservation alert for all customers who use Elyria city water.
Frazil ice, the same phenomenon that affected the Avon Lake Water Plant earlier this year, has built up on the intake pipes at the Elyria Water Distribution Plant, resulting in significantly less water coming into the plant. As such, a conservation alert has been issued for residents in Elyria, Amherst, Sheffield Township, Elyria Township and portions of Carlisle Township and North Ridgeville.
The alert will run until at least midnight.
Mayor Holly Brinda said employees noticed a problem early this morning and have been working all day to dislodge the ice.
“But we are starting to get calls about low water pressure so we are asking residents to do whatever they can to minimize water usage,” she said. “There are so many resources pouring in to solve this problem that we think it will be resolved by at least midnight.”
Frazil ice is a collection of loose, needle-shaped ice crystals in the water, resembling slush. It has less buoyancy than traditional ice and settles on the lake bottom, where the intake pipes are.
The water is fine to drink and cook with, as quality of water is not an issue. It’s more of quantity, Brinda said.
Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka said the water will appear somewhat cloudy as sediment is being stirred up. Just run the water until it is clear, she said. There is no need to boil water.
Water tankers are being placed on standby in the event there is a fire.
Divers from the Elyria Fire Department have cut a six- to eight-inch hole into the ice surface of the lake, and special pumps that can bring water into the plant by bypassing the intake pipes are being used. The setup is similar to what was employed in AvonLake.
An ice cutter from the Vermillion area has been called to help.
Brinda said while the city’s water reserve tanks are low, the city is not in danger of running out of water. Water from the Lorain County Rural Water Authority is being diverted to the city to help with water quantity. Also, North Ridgeville has diverted much of its supply to Avon Lake to minimize usage.
“There are redundancies in the system to keep water flowing,” Siwierka said. “All emergency protocols we have are working.”
Elyria’s water emergency plan was revamped after frazil ice affected the Avon Lake system. It allowed workers in this instance to know exactly what to do and immediately get working, Siwierka said.