BG board learns of unapproved water line

Bowling Green’s Board of Public Utilities learned Monday night that a water line has been extended
without permits or the city’s knowledge to serve properties east of the city.
On the advice of City Attorney Michael Marsh, the board took no action and will await additional
information at its next meeting, scheduled for June 22.
Assistant Director of Utilities Paul Brock told the board that Robert Maurer had a two-inch water line
run through the Ohio Department of Transportation right-of-way to serve four or five properties along
Bowling Green Road East (Ohio 105) outside the city. Some of the properties being served or believed to
being served are owned by Maurer.
Brock said water became an issue when the Jehovah’s Witnesses at 10444 Bowling Green Road East learned
their well was contaminated. Because this is outside the city, Brock said the church was referred to the
Northwest Water and Sewer District. At some point the church told the district it could not afford to
pay for the master plan 12-inch line and the issue came back to the city to consider an accommodation
tap. Such a tap is allowed as a temporary fix to a water or sewer problem. Monday, the city learned the
line had been installed. The church is not hooked up to the two-inch line, Brock said.
Brock said the project did not have EPA approval, did not have the city approval and did not have ODOT
approval.
Marsh said the city had problems on East Wooster Street west of Interstate 75 many years ago because of
private sewers that were installed. He said when the city went to install a permanent line, property
owners went to court and won a ruling that nullified their tap fees to the new line.
"Everything that could be wrong with this (water line) is wrong," Marsh said.
The board also:
¥ Heard former BPU member Sheilah Crowley caution against the city’s planned use of utility department
interest accounts to help balance the city budget. Crowley said she feels strongly that the funds
"are rate money that is needed for industrial development. You have to keep the rates lows,
especially electric, but all rates, for businesses and the university." She said a lot of people
are struggling and utilities are not a luxury. "That money should be kept to help keep rates as low
as possible."
¥ Asked council to approve a storm water ordinance and plan being required by the Ohio EPA.
¥ Learned the Conneaut Avenue sewer project is in its final stages. Paving should be complete this week,
followed by grading and seeding.
¥ Learned the laboratory staff at the water treatment plant had passed required tests and have been
recertified for three years.
¥ Learned bids for the new ultraviolet disinfection system at the wastewater plant had come in $650,000
below the estimates.
¥ Learned six employees of the wastewater plant had passed Class I or Class II operator permit exams.