WEIRTON – With concerns over issues with the national supply chain, the Weirton Area Water Board is implementing a policy concerning its stocking of certain necessary materials and equipment.
“We have experienced significant inability to seek the supplies we need,”Utilities Director Butch Mastrantoni explained during Thursday’s Water Board meeting.
He pointed to such materials as 2-inch meters, as well as some sizes of pipes, couplers and meter pit components. Some materials, he said, will not be available until at least February.
A major concern is the availability of certain chemicals used in the treatment of the city’s water supply.
Fluoride is not a required treatment component, but one Weirton has used as an additional service for the health of the community, Mastrantoni noted.
Chlorine, however, is necessary in Weirton’s treatment process, and Mastrantoni explained the board’s regular supplier has begun limiting the amount available with each order. He said an effort to look at, and negotiate with, other suppliers have begun, and the plan is to stock as much as they can obtain and legally store to maintain a sufficient supply in the event there is a shortage.
He told the board he wanted them to be aware in the event they see increased expenditures of chlorine or other chemicals in their monthly reports.
“I’d rather be pennywise than pound foolish,” Mastrantoni said.
Chief Operator Chuck Tenaglio noted the water treatment plant’s current supply would last approximately 39 days.
Mastrantoni noted a particular concern for such supplies is the board’s primary provider of the chemical receives its shipments by rail, explaining the threat of a nationwide rail strike this week, which was averted early Thursday.
Board member Don Gianni Jr. noted there had been previous discussions about supply concerns, knowing it could happen.
“The board did say, whatever we have to do, we’ll do,” Gianni said.
Ward 5 Councilwoman Flora Perrone, an ex officio member of the board who was participating by phone Thursday, said she knows many industries and services are facing shortages, and there is a balancing needed to find a way through such difficulties.
“It’s a tightrope walk,” she said.
*Original full-text article online at: https://www.weirtondailytimes.com/news/local-news/2022/09/water-board-planning-to-stockpile-supplies/