Water Conservation Sought for Plant Work Tie-In

WHEELING – Wheeling water customers are being asked to conserve water through next week in order to allow construction crews to complete a tie-in between the current water treatment plant and the new, $30.55 million water plant under construction adjacent to Richland Avenue in Warwood.

Public Works Director Russell Jebbia said this morning the plant will be shut down for a time on Monday to allow the contractor to make changes in the piping at the plant. Jebbia said the work involves draining a settling basin at the plant, something they have not done before.

“First, let me say the water will be safe to drink and yes, you can take a bath. We are just asking you not to wash the car, fill swimming pools or water the lawn extensively. It’s been raining this week so watering shouldn’t be a problem,” Jebbia said.

Conserving water allows the city to keep the water tanks filled with a two-day supply of continuous water. However, having tanks filled near to capacity also allows for emergencies such as a major fire or water break during the tie-in work.

Jebbia said contingency plans are in place with the fire department in the event of an emergency or a water break.

Weather permitting, the contractor is expected to have this portion of the work completed in about 12 hours. Water customers will be advised as soon as the work is completed.

“It’s not unusual for the plant to be shut down during maintenance or repairs, but we’ve never drained this area before. That’s why we decided to ask customers to conserve,” Jebbia said. “The contractor feels confident about getting it done in the 12-hour time span.”

Jebbia said the city received a call this morning from someone asking if they can take a bath.

“The misconception is that the water isn’t being pumped when the plant is shut down. The water is pumped from the tanks. People don’t need to fill jugs or not take a bath. It’s the extra stuff like washing the car we would ask them not to do until the work is done.”

Jebbia and Water Superintendent Dave Nickerson said the new plant will provide customers a much higher quality and better tasting water. The new plant will utilize a membrane filtration system rather than the current sand filtration system, they said.

“We are working to keep up with technology to provide the best possible water. This new facility replaces the current plant built in 1923,” Jebbia said.

Wheeling water customers include all city residents and businesses along with those served by Bethlehem, the Ohio County Public Service District, Clearview, Triadelphia and Valley Grove.

For any questions, call the water treatment plant staff at 304-234-3835.