Youngstown’s old water system could make meeting guidelines difficult

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – In the wake of water contamination problems in Sebring as well as other cities like Flint, Michigan, the Youngstown Water Department is about to take on a huge project.

As of last September, community water systems like Youngstown are now required to create maps of their underground piping infrastructure and residential plumbing that would involve either lead or copper pipes where lead solder was used to hold them together.

Water Department Engineer Gene Leson admitted the overall age of the local system could make the project very difficult.

“Because the city doesn’t have all that information — we didn’t plumb the inside of the houses, that was put in by the plumbers when they built the houses,” he said. “We have to use our best-educated guess on what the practice was during those years that that solder was primarily used.”

Compounding the issue, the mapping project needs to be completed by March 9 to ensure Youngstown complies with the law.

Thursday morning, the city’s board of control agreed to hire a consulting firm to handle the work.