A malfunction at Miamisburg’s water treatment caused chlorine residuals to fall below acceptable levels of the EPA, prompting a water boil advisory. DARIN POPE/STAFF

Miamisburg businesses feel effects of water advisory

Water sample results showed acceptable levels of chlorine residue.

One of the 32 restaurants or business serving food that were directly notified of the boil alert by the city was TJ Chumps on East Linden Avenue, where business dropped off after the advisory was first issued, said Managing Partner Mike Leigh.

“It really causes some difficulty in the operations of the business,” he said.

FIRST REPORT: Miamisburg issues water boil advisory

The level of chlorine in samples at the city’s water treatment plant Thursday morning fell below Ohio EPA recommended levels because of a mechanical failure, prompting a boil advisory for about 1,900 Miamisburg water customers, many of them businesses, said city Public Works Director Valerie Griffin.

The advisory area included about one-third of land in the city, Griffin said, and the mechanical failure is “not associated with the construction” of the city’s $69 million water and sewer master plan. Those upgrades are being paid for by annual rate hikes that have caused customer criticism in recent months.

At TJ Chumps, the boil advisory “absolutely” had some impact on the 10 to 15 percent drop Leigh estimated the restaurant witnessed since it was issued.

With the city’s “antiquated” infrastructure, Leigh said the water issues have occurred frequently enough for the restaurant to issue guidelines for operational changes, such as wash room procedures or switching from dispensed to bottled drinks.

RELATED: Miamisburg customers question water bills

On South Main Street, Mz. Pickles Sandwich Shop owner Carol Brassington said the boil advisory caused frustration, inconveniences and precautions.

“Even just to do the dishes…. you can’t rinse the dishes in contaminated water so you still have to use bottled water to do dishes,” she said. “It just makes things go so much slower and it’s more difficult.”

More than 850 gallons of bottled water were distributed Thursday and Friday, Griffin said, as Sam’s Club, Costco and the Ohio EPA assisted.

The mechanical failure occurred overnight Wednesday or early Thursday morning and wasn’t detected at the water treatment plant until about 7 a.m. Thursday.

“You can manually switch, but it’s set up on automation and it didn’t switch over,” Griffin said. “So our staff was able to do it manually…..unfortunately, some of that infrastructure is getting old and doesn’t work as it’s designed.”

“As part of the water and sewer master plan, we will have a better alarm system and better communications put it at the plant. So hopefully it will create some redundancies and we won’t have surprises like this,” she said.

The five-year water and sewer upgrades are designed to modernize Miamisburg’s water and sewer system. The rate hikes they are being financed with have been a source of contention with many customers in recent months – as have the accuracy of the bills received from the city.

Facebook posts by Miamisburg customers Thursday and Friday reflected city water issues remain a sore spot.

“This is unfortunately a byproduct of running a utility and providing water to your customers. Sometimes failures happen,” Griffin said. “Failures happen in any system, and we apologize for the inconvenience.”

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