GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Health Department has ordered all restaurants served by Gallipolis city water to close until further notice as the city continues to go without water.
Closure notices, effective Thursday, were posted at restaurants around the city. The notices state, “For the protection of public health, Health Commissioner, Dr. Gerald Vallee, under the authority of the Ohio Revised Code, Section 3717 and Ohio Department of Health; CLOSES ALL food service and food preparation establishments, which are Gallipolis City Water Customers. These businesses shall remain closed until further notice.”
According to Gallipolis City Manager Randy Finney, testing by workers Wednesday night identified a leak — which was first discovered Monday — as the cause of a lack of water/water pressure experienced by city residents. But as of Thursday evening, Finney reported that crews had not been able to find the source of the leak.
“We had crews working … to find the leak with no success, and we will be walking all the lines to try to find it as soon as possible,” he said.
Sound detection equipment arrived Thursday afternoon to locate the source of the problem, Finney said. As of press time, he said there was no firm timeline as to when water would be restored. The Gallia County Emergency Management Agency is working with the state of Ohio to coordinate continued water distribution.
The American Red Cross will be giving away water to Gallipolis residents affected by the water shortage from 1-7 p.m. for the next few days at the public-use area. Water will be distributed to Gallipolis city water customers only in a drive-thru style. Quantities are limited by family size and family members must be present to receive water, according to the release.
Finney reminded customers that water received from the public-use area is for drinking only, and that water customers can fill their own containers for other uses at the water treatment plant, located at 2020 Chestnut St., Gallipolis, between 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
This comes after Finney announced that the city would again shut down all water lines within the service area starting 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Finney said to restore pressure, the city would restore water levels in the reservoir, then start bringing each service area back online.
In addition, the University of Rio Grande is opening its fitness center showers at the Lyne Center to any residents affected. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Finney also encouraged residents to check on their neighbors, especially the elderly and disabled who cannot leave their homes.
For any further requests or inquiries concerning the water outage, call 740-441-2036, or 911 for emergencies.