Water Authority ‘back up to speed’
After several days of mandatory conservation, water is plentiful once again for 16,000 customers served by the Oakmont Water Authority.
“We’re pretty much back up to speed now,” Carl Schultz, Hulton Water Treatment Plant assistant superintendent, said Friday. “The tanks are 85 to 90 percent full.”
A conservation order, issued after two of three transformers at the plant shut down Monday evening and had to be replaced, was lifted Thursday. Transformers are needed to operate the system’s pumps.
Although the transformers were replaced early Tuesday afternoon, the system did not start pumping water until about eight hours later because of air pockets in the system’s lines, said Mark Valentic, authority distribution system supervisor.
By Wednesday afternoon, the authority no longer was receiving calls from customers saying they were without water. Instead, most people still were experiencing low water pressure.
In some areas, levels dropped to as low as 10 percent capacity Tuesday, most notably in Indiana Township. The hilltop areas of Oakmont and Verona also were affected severely.
Other areas served by the Oakmont Water Authority include Harmar Township, parts of Penn Hills, Plum and West Deer Township and Middlesex in Butler County.
The system has operated at maximum water production levels of as much as 10 million gallons a day. As of Wednesday, it was producing 8.5 million gallons.
The authority has 14 storage facilities, ranging from a tiny, 25,000-gallon Nike storage tank to the 2.25 million-gallon Verona Reservoir. Most tanks have an average capacity of 200,000 gallons.
Portable water tanks suggested by Verona Borough Manager Bonnie Conway were not needed because the plant was not shut down for more than a day, Valentic said.
On Tuesday morning, Oakmont Country Club and adjoining Oakmont East Golf Course, a public facility, lacked water in their clubhouses and had to close kitchens and restrooms.
Club members who wanted to eat were directed to Fox Chapel Golf Club and the nearby Pittsburgh Field Club.