The Canal Winchester Times

Hot weather led to cascade of issues


Higher-than-normal temperatures caused a series of power failures, which ultimately led to water quality issues for Canal Winchester residents and businesses last week.

South Central Power representative Jeff Campbell told city officials that the high temperatures experienced June 18 led to an unexpected spike in demand. This overloaded the system in Fairfield and southern Franklin counties, which led to "blinking lights and several momentary outages," he said.

"Crews have corrected the issue," Campbell said Thursday, June 19. "We apologize and appreciate your patience while we worked through this problem. This is not an ongoing issue. You will not see this issue reoccurring this summer."

According to Canal Winchester Water Department Manager Gary Schmitt, the repeated power cuts resulted in the city water plant control system switching on an additional high-pressure pump.

"The introduction of the extra pump increased the water flow into the system, causing settled particles to break loose and dislodge into residential and business taps," Schmitt said.

The particles caused the water to be discolored and cloudy for many residents and businesses, but, according to Schmitt, it remained completely safe for drinking and bathing. The discolored and cloudy water was completely gone within about 24 hours of the incident.

Canal Winchester IT Coordinator Rick Brown posted information regarding the safety of the water and tips on how to get the particles flushed out more quickly on social media and the city's website as soon as officials became aware of the situation.