The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


Years of growth and major projects have passed since the Northwestern Water & Sewer District prepared a master plan, says Jerry Greiner, president of the district, and now it’s time to prepare another.

A report of the new plan, which identifies long-term needs for water and sewer services throughout Wood County, is scheduled for completion by mid-summer.

“It’s been approximately 10 years since this was last done county-wide and several things have occurred since that time,” Greiner said. “There has been incredible growth and investment in our region over the last 10 years. We have added two major retail shopping areas in the county. There have been major commercial improvements and warehousing additions such as Fed-Ex, Home Depot and Walgreens.”

Other major investments include the $180 million CSX Rail facility in the south end of the county, he said.

When it opened in 2011, the company called it “… the cornerstone of a new double-stack freight rail corridor between East Coast sea ports and the Midwest.”

Greiner said the district’s location make it a logical choice for businesses reliant on transportation.

“We have found that our access to major highway routes such as I-75, U.S. 23 and the Ohio turnpike makes us a natural site for regional warehousing and as a logistical hub. These create needs for water and sanitary services that are quite different than those of other commercial and industrial demands, and the size is dramatically different for the engineers to design.”

All of which underscores the need for an updated master plan, he said.

“Large fire-flows are necessary for this class of customers, but the actual usage is minimal day-to-day. However, the capital cost rate recovery is a burden for other rate payers and designers. This results in more impact fees and on-site improvements, which are necessary, and did not exist 10 years ago,” he said.

Overall, the number of users is up since the last plan was developed but actual demand has fluctuated little – an indication users have been installing lower-flow appliances and adopting other conservation measures.

Greiner said those changes will require a “re-thinking” by the district as it designs distribution systems and other improvements.

“One interesting thing we’re seeing in utilities is that total volume treated is probably down,” he said. “A lot of commercial and industrial users have gotten better at recycling. When Toledo was doing one of its studies a few years ago they found the overall amount of treated water was about the same as 10 years ago. It was a surprise to them. They were looking to do some capital expansion work but when they saw those numbers they took a second look and didn’t go forward with some expansion plans they felt were unnecessary.”

District engineers have been visiting townships and municipalities in the district’s service area – including Scott Township in Sandusky County – to seek input from elected officials on the plan on matters such as zoning and land-use.

Greiner said the new plan report will also reflect tighter state regulations covering home septic systems that will likely result in increased demand for regional sewer plant capacity.

“We contract with six regional sewer plants and five regional water treatment providers for service,” he said. “Each of which is faced with tighter EPA requirements for treatment, effluent discharge and elimination of storm water infiltration. But none of this can be done properly without continual planning and realistically analyzing the cost factors.”

Twitter service
The district has developed a platform on Twitter. An employee named Emily will tweet news and updates from “@EmilyPostsNWSD.”

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