Community warned not to drink tap water Thursday, no school Friday
The Times Leader - March 17, 2023
SHADYSIDE — Word went out to residents Thursday night to not drink tap water due to a chemical imbalance.
As a result, all classes in the Shadyside Local School District are canceled Friday.
Mayor Bob Newhart said too much fluoride was detected around 7 p.m.
“We’re working on the problem right now. Most of the places are back, within reason. It’s not life-threatening, but we’re asking they not drink the water,” he said. “We’re flushing the system.”
He said people who did consume the water were not likely to become ill.
“It’s more of a precaution, a precautionary measure that we’re taking,” he said.
Newhart said this was probably a result of a water break earlier Thursday.
Residents were asked to conserve water at that time, but the request was canceled that afternoon when the break was repaired. The chemical imbalance was found later.
“We were fortunate enough to find the problem, fix the water break and now we’re getting the chemicals back in line,” he said. “We caught this with our daily testing. We’re flushing the system and the fluoride has come down. Once we can test to where they need to be, we’re going to shut the hydrants and fill the reservoir.”
Newhart did not have information about the degree of imbalance on hand or the optimum ratio of fluoride.
He said the entire community was not affected, since the village has two reservoirs and only one had the fluoride imbalance.
“From Central (Avenue) towards the (Ohio) River,” he said of the affected area.
He does not expect a boil order will be issued.
“Hopefully by sun up,” he said. “By the time this hits the press, it’ll all be done.”
School Superintendent John Haswell said he had spoken with Newhart about the matter. Since he does not know the risks associated with having “way too much fluoride” in drinking water, he decided to cancel classes in the district as a precaution.
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