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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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        A contract between the City of Toledo and the Northwestern Water and Sewer District for the city to supply water to 6,500 district customers in Northern Wood County expires in 2024 and the district Tuesday continued its effort to apprise the public on options under consideration for providing water to users the next several decades.

        The district is assessing options such as remaining with Toledo, partnering with the City of Bowling Green or tapping into a distribution system supplied by the Michindoh aquifer in Williams County. Updates on the options were presented during an informational meeting Tuesday in Perrysburg.

        Rex Huffman, of Spitler Huffman, LLP, said he’s been pleased with the meetings he’s had with Toledo officials after city voters in November approved a charter amendment to form the Toledo Regional Water Commission.

        “The dialog between the city and suburbs has never been better,” Huffman said. “We’re very encouraged by the City of Toledo opening their books to our tech committee.”

        Under the TRWC, Toledo would retain ownership of its water treatment plant and would be responsible for debt the city has incurred for infrastructure upgrades. Huffman said the commission, whose membership would include representatives of the city and suburbs purchasing city water, would make rate recommendations to city council.

        He said the commission format would result in better management as the TRWC would be staffed by “water professionals” and not politicians and rate increases would be more incremental.

        Earlier this year, Toledo city council rejected joining the Toledo Area Water Authority, which would have taken over the treatment plant operations. TAWA was proposed in 2017 after the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce funded a study to provide a framework for regional collaboration on water.

Study funded

        The Northwestern Water and Sewer District and cities of Maumee and Perrysburg are funding a study to determine if Bowling Green is a viable alternative water source.

        Ted Bennett, of Jones & Henry Engineers, said a feasibility study will start next month with a look at possible transmission and distribution routes.

      Joining Jones and Henry for the study will be the firms Greeley and Hansen, as the engineering technical advisor, and Raftelis, as the financial/technical advisor.

        Bennett displayed two maps showing possible routes for a water main. Both start near the Bowling Green water treatment plant and proceed to Rt. 25. One proceeds northeast to State Route 795 and the other proceeds north to Perrysburg and then to the Rossford area. Both include lines across the Maumee River. He said distances for each were 16 and 19 miles.

        The capacity of the treatment plant is 11 million gallons a day, he said, and the estimates for providing water for the district and cities would be about 18 million gallons a day.

        Tom Borck, of Poggemeyer Design Group, said interest in the Michindoh aquifer arose with the Henry County Regional Water and Sewer District and Village of Liberty Center looking for alternative water sources to continuing purchasing water from the City of Napoleon.

        Participating in a study of the aquifer are the Henry County district, Northwestern district, Liberty Center, Whitehouse, Maumee, Perrysburg and Sylvania.

        Artesian of Pioneer, Inc., approached the towns with a proposal to construct a groundwater treatment plant, Borck said.

        To date, four test/observation wells to determine aquifer depths have been drilled, he said, and a pump test was conducted on an existing irrigation well.

        He said the water source appears to be “very robust” and showed little impact when pumping was conducted at 1,400 gallons per minute for 72 hours.

        Still, he acknowledged there was a need for more long-term data.

        “This isn’t something we want to do and find out five years later it’s not going to work,” Borck said.

        Several residents from Williams County and even from Indiana attended the meeting held at the Holiday Inn – some with signs saying, “Protect our Water” and “Clean Their Water Don’t Steal Ours.”

        The Northwestern Water and Sewer District contracts with the City of Toledo to purchase water for users in Rossford, Perrysburg, Perrysburg Township and portions of Northwood, Walbridge, Lake Township and Troy Township.

        The district also contracts with the City of Oregon to provide water for the eastern portion of Northwood and portions of Lake Township and Millbury.

        Jerry Greiner, district president, said after the meeting he expected the district board of trustees to select an option by mid-2019.

        Another alternative, linking with the Ottawa County water system, is also being discussed by the board, he said.

 

Universal Income

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