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Water System Affected by Road Salt and Main Breaks

During the winter months, Berea’s water system has two major challenges: water main breaks and availability of water free of road salt.

The freezing and thawing of the ground creates havoc for aging water mains in this area of the country.  Berea did not start using ductile iron pipe for its water main installations until approximately 1960.  Ductile iron is much less brittle than the cast iron pipe that was used for more than 50 years.  Ductile pipe also is lined with a cement coating.   In the south/southwest, utilities experience the opposite problem.  Their most problematic time of the year for main breaks is during the summer when there is extreme heat and dryness.


The Berea Water Department is very proactive in managing the health of our Coe Lake reservoir.  During the winter, when the Rocky River, our main water source, is contaminated with runoff containing road salt, Berea’s treatment plant switches the water source to Coe Lake.  As a backup water source, Coe Lake contains approximately a 30-day supply of water.






City of Berea - 11 Berea Commons - Berea, Ohio 44017 - (440)826-5800
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