The Wood County-based Northwestern Water and Sewer District is looking to the east for another potential source of water to purchase.
Some members of the district’s board of trustees spent a day last month touring water facilities in Ottawa County and the district may apply next year for a grant to fund a feasibility study of linking the district with a distribution system in Ottawa County, said Jerry Greiner, executive director of the district.
John Cheney, Alex Molnar, and Lyle Schulte, district trustees, were joined by Tim Brown, a Wood County commissioner, and Mr. Greiner on a tour of water plants at the Lake Erie Business Park, Carroll Township, and the Ottawa County Regional Water System.
“We’ll get back with them maybe early next year and try to determine what our next step is,” Mr. Greiner said. “All three draw water from Lake Erie and have different costs but we want to get the conversation started.”
Steve Arndt, an Ottawa County commissioner, said the tour was only a preliminary step in what could be a joint project.
“This is strictly exploratory right now,” he said. But he said the county is willing to consider the idea of opening up its distribution system with the Wood County district.
“The advantage for us is having more users will help to keep costs down for our customers,” Mr. Arndt said.
The Ottawa County regional system has more capacity than the other systems that were toured and it extends as far west as the Brush Wellman plant outside the Village of Elmore.
The county in the late 1990s completed construction of the system, which includes a treatment plant with a 9-million-gallon per day capacity. The regional transmission system serves the City of Port Clinton and Village of Oak Harbor and distributes water to customers in Bay, Catawba Island, Danbury, Erie, Harris, Portage, and Salem townships.
Mr. Greiner said he’s had informal talks for years with representatives of Carroll Township about linking their systems.
“They’re within a few years of paying off their 20-year bond so they think they have a pretty good handle on their finances,” he said.
The Wood County district has lines as far east as Fostoria Road on the border with Ottawa County, he said.
The district, which purchases water from the cities of Toledo and Oregon, serves about 20,000 customers.