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Environment & Energy

Is Age Alone, or Something Else, Causing the Cracks in the Mineral Ridge Dam?

Mineral Ridge Dam
Google Earth
Consultants are taking a close look at the dam and buildings around the Meander Reservoir

Mineral Ridge Dam holds back the 7-mile-long, 11-billion gallon Meander Reservoir in Mahoning and Trumbull counties. But it and the lake’s accompanying buildings seem to be showing their age -- or, perhaps, something else.

The dam has cracks. Meander Water System’s Chief Engineer Tom Holloway says that could just be because the earthen structure is 90-years old. And the same could go for the buildings. But, other factors may have contributed, including local seismic activity.

That’s why the board that controls Meander commissioned a study by experts.

“We won’t know that until we get a report back from the engineers, Gannett Fleming, and what their thoughts are on what they’re seeing both at the dam and at our buildings. ... Some of our buildings are from the 1930s, and some of our buildings are newer. They were all looked at by the engineers who did a site visited Nov. 21st.”        

Meander supplies drinking water for a quarter of a million people in the Niles-Youngstown area