District plans $20M water, sewer projects this year
Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel County Editor
Thursday, 28 February 2013 11:00
Nearly $20 million will be buried in Wood County this year in the form of water and sewer projects.
|File photo. Workers installing waterline in Custar. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
The investment is the greatest ever for the Northwestern Water and Sewer District, according to Bill Barber, district engineer.
When Barber took over as district engineer nine years ago, the district spent between $3 million and $5 million a year on projects. That amount has more than quadrupled.
"It's mind boggling," Barber said. "This year has just boomed."
Barber's stack of papers include 25 active construction projects and 83 in the planning and design stage.
The district has had great success at getting grants, stimulus funding, and securing low interest loans for projects, he said.
The projects range from new waterlines, and repair of aging lines, to installing sewers to meet EPA orders.
"It really benefits the county," he said. "We're setting it up for growth to take care of future needs."
Much of the demand is due to growth in villages, such as Weston, Custar, Milton Center and Hoytville. Some towns, such as Cygnet and Bloomdale, had to replace failing wells, he said. Some areas suffer from sulfur water, quality issues and pressure problems that hampered fire protection.
"Villages are driving most of the growth," Barber said.
If there was no district to extend water and sewer services, "these villages would have to fend for themselves," he said.
The district is also getting inquiries about services from the uptick in commercial growth.
"We're getting requests from all over the county," he said. "It's offset the downside of residential."
Barber, who has worked at several other water and sewer districts in Ohio, said the infrastructure here is better than most.
"Actually, Wood County is ahead of most counties," he said.
Water projects already or soon to be underway are:
• Bloomdale Road waterline extension.
• Custar and Milton Center waterline extension.
• River Road waterline replacement between Perrysburg and Rossford.
• Rossford waterline replacements and pump station.
• East Broadway booster station.
• Wales Road waterline extension.
• Perrysburg Township master meter.
• U.S. 23 waterline extension near Risingsun.
• Solether Road waterline extension for Cygnet.
Sanitary sewer work being ordered:
• Rudolph Road in Liberty Township.
• Sugar Ridge/Mercer Road area.
• Five Point Road area in Middleton Township.
• Kramer/Huffman Road area south of Bowling Green.
• Bay/Bradner Road area near Risingsun.
• West Millgrove.
Other sanitary sewer work underway:
• Tree streets line in Rossford.
• Jennings Road pump station replacement in Rossford.
• Master metering of trunk sanitary sewer for Northwood, Rossford and Perrysburg Township.
Though most people welcome public water service, many oppose forced sewer hook-ups and bulk at the expense of both water and sewer, Barber said.
"You're not out there to win a popularity contest," he said. "I'm sympathetic to them. But unfortunately, I'm doing their work."
The district has to follow EPA orders for sewers, in spite of landowners' objections, he said.
"I would be doing them an injustice," if he didn't follow orders. But Barber said he tries to make the projects as affordable as possible.
"I always have to look at the most cost-effective way of doing it," he said.