Genoa officials are rethinking how they staff the village water system.
For years, the water system that serves the 1,430 registered meters has been operated as a distribution system. Genoa buys its water from the City of Oregon. The city pumps the water through a 16-inch pipe from the city to a meter pit located at State Route 579 and Genoa-Clay Center Road that helps boost the flow to the village water tower.
But a recent survey by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency tags the village system as a Class I water system, said Kevin Gladden, village administrator. That means the village must have a Class 1 water system operator on the job.
“We thought we simply had a distribution system. There is no big plant,” Gladden explained.
However, because the village is required to pump chlorine into the system occasionally, it no longer qualifies under the distribution system designation, Gladden said he was told.
“They clarified things for us,” he added. As a result, “The minimum we need someone is three days a week at least one and half hours a day.”
The operator, who must have a license sanctioned by the state, is responsible for a number of tasks, including taking water samples, adding chemicals, keeping log books and filing state reports.
Currently, the consulting firm of IMF is providing those services.
Now village council must weigh whether it’s more fiscally responsible to bring someone on board as a village employee or use an independent contractor.
“At $1,250 a month for 12 months a year, we need to consider if we want to continue on this way or hire someone on staff. It’s something you have to consider,” Gladden said.
Either way, the cost of operations for the water system is bound to go up.
Gladden said he’s not sure how these changes will affect current water rates in the village.