Youngtown, Ohio (WKBN) — For 100 years, the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District has provided drinking water to parts of Mahoning and Trumbull counties. Some of the pipes and valves used to move the water are old and are being replaced. And one of the biggest projects is still going on.
On North Dunlap Street, west of Youngstown, the Mahoning Valley Sanitation District is currently replacing three large 42-inch valves on Youngstown’s 30 million gallon reservoir. The history of the old valve dates back to 1931 and is connected to two main lines. A valve can be used to shut off the water if desired.
“We have two redundant lines. One is down Oakwood. [Avenue]who come to Connecticut [Avenue]And then they go into the reservoir,” said MVSD chief engineer Mike McNinch. “We can either isolate Oakwood or Connecticut and keep supplying Youngstown through the reservoir.”
The valves are priced at $128,000 each and the entire Dunlap project cost $1.9 million. The new valves were 3 of the 200 replaced across the MVSD system since 2009.
Next, repiping the path that water flows into the Youngstown Reservoir will bring fresher water into the system and help alleviate foul-tasting water in the Lincoln Knolls area of the East Side.
“The water quality on the East Side will be much better,” McNinch said. “So the City of Youngtown is also currently doing research on re-piping and changing the flow of water.”
Once MVSD completes the valve replacement project, the focus shifts to restoring the 96-year-old Meander Reservoir Dam that stops many of us drinking water.
The dam project is part of a 14-year plan to restore much of the sanitary district’s infrastructure.
“We have signed all permits and plans through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources have accepted our improvements. We plan to,” McNinch said.
In October 2021, McNinch invited people on a tour of the dam — Seeking help for a very expensive project.
The original project was expected to cost about $41 million, McNinch said. He said inflation had pushed that amount up to about $54 million.
The dam will be repaired to withstand the biblical “thousand-year rain.” The Ohio Department of Natural Resources hopes to repair the dam until it can withstand 19 inches of rain in 24 hours, four times the amount of rain ever recorded.
McNinch said the dam was in good condition and showed no signs of breaking anytime soon.
“There are no structural flaws. There is no imminent danger,” McNinch said. “Again, we are building for the future.”
MVSD has saved $12 million and expects $35 million FEMA Resilient Infrastructure and Community Building Grants to pay for most of the project.
In December 2022, The district was denied a rate hike But McNinch said the school district plans to question him again.
“Hopefully as soon as we receive positive news from FEMA regarding BRICs subsidies,” McNinch said. “We have updated our financial numbers for this year.
If all goes according to plan, McNinch hopes to begin the dam replacement project sometime in 2024. Once started, it will likely take him three years to complete.
https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/mahoning-valley-sanitary-district-valves-replaced-dam-is-next/ Dunlap Street, Meander Reservoir Mahoning Valley Sanitary District renovations underway despite delays in federal and state funding