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500 in Miami Twp. on boil alert

By Lawrence Budd - Staff Writer

A Montgomery County Environmental Services worker closed a mislabeled valve about 2:30 p.m. Monday, forcing more than 500 customers in Miami Twp. to boil their water before using it.

The customers living around the valve — at Crains Run and Wood roads — should be able to use the water from the tap sometime Wednesday evening, according to Brianna Wooten, communications coordinator, for Montgomery County Environmental Services.

Meanwhile 537 customers are advised to continue boiling their water for eating, drinking, food preparation or oral hygiene.

“I boiled water this morning,” Crains Run resident Murriel Parrett said Tuesday afternoon. “I don’t know if you’d call it a problem or not. Maybe a small inconvenience.”

Contrary to initial reports linking the problem to construction, the depressurization of the system was caused by a worker who shut off the wrong valve for flushing due to a mislabeled map, Wooten said.

“This occurred because the valves were incorrectly marked on our map, which has since been corrected. As a result, flow was cut off from the other side of highway, so it depressurized the system,” she said.

According to Ohio EPA, the potential for contaminants to be introduced into the water through back siphonage, pipe joints and holes in the pipes is greater after depressurization.

In addition to boiling, officials suggest running cold water from faucets to clear discoloration.

Water at Maddux-Lang Primary School, Jane Chance Elementary School and Miamisburg Middle School was affected, although the school remained open, Wooten said.

It was the 76th boil advisory of the year for the county system — the first due to a mislabeled valve, Wooten said. The system serves 80,000 customers.

Wooten projected the “all clear” message would be sent between 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. The utility spent $1,500 on samples and labor, she said.

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