Downtown still without water

HELP FROM COLUMBUS — Scott Campbell, co-owner of M & M True Value Hardware, used a forklift truck to load bottled water onto 911 Center Executive Director Rob Herrington’s pickup truck for delivery to Bergholz. Herrington said the water was sent to assist Steubenville residents dealing with no water issues in the downtown. Some 600 Bergholz residents were also without water Saturday afternoon following a water line break in the village. - Dave Gossett

STEUBENVILLE — Downtown residents and businesses are still without water today but city officials are cautiously optimistic they may be able to start charging the downtown water system by tonight.

Utility Director Chuck Murphy said Saturday night the University Boulevard corridor, “has been charged and appears to be holding without any leaks. That includes North Sixth Street from Franklin Avenue to University Boulevard and the Buckeye Street area.”

“If we continue to hold today I believe we will have isolated the potential major leak to the South Fourth and South Fifth Street area near the Lincoln Avenue railroad bridge. If that is the case we will need to install a new valve there in order to isolate the water line,” explained Murphy.

“At that point we will slowly start opening the valve near the East Garfield School to start charging the high pressure water system in the downtown. We will be charging the system slowly in order to avoid causing more leaks. Once that system is fully charged and if we don’t have a major leak we will then know we have isolated the problem area in the south end of the city. If that is the case we will have to make arrangements to fix that water line. I am hopeful we will see a resolution in the next couple of days,” stressed Murphy.

City leaders and volunteers came together Saturday afternoon to start unloading bottled water sent to Steubenville by the Ohio Emergency Management Agency in Columbus.

Scott Campbell, co-owner of M & M True Value Hardware used his forklift to help unload the pallets of water with the help of city resident Gabe Nelson.

“This is an example of people coming together in the time of need. We didn’t wait to be called. We knew there was a need to help get this truck unloaded and we came together to get the job done,” Campbell said.

Also on hand for the water delivery were Police Chief Bill McCafferty, Fire Chief Carlo Capaldi and Mayor Jerry Barilla.

Rob Herrington of the Local Emergency Planning Committee said he requested the water on Friday but the delivery was delayed by the winter storm in Ohio.

“This water is for those city residents who are disabled or cannot leave their homes to get water at the water buffaloes set up in the community. Anyone who meets that criteria should call the Steubenville water filtration plant at (740) 283-6041 and make a request for water. City firefighters will then deliver the water to the residents. But if you have a vehicle and the ability to go to the water buffaloes at the Urban Mission warehouse or the Steel Valley Regional Transit Center on Adams Street then please do so,” urged Herrington.

Herrington said he was taking some of the bottled water to Begholz where a water line break has caused a disruption for the village’s 600 residents.

(Gossett can be contacted at dgossett@heraldstaronline.com)