Oak Harbor: Church Street sewer project nearly complete

Staff Writer

A $9.2 million improvement project on Church Street in Oak Harbor is nearing completion and has already resulted in reduced combined sewer overflows to the Portage River, decreased street flooding and reduced instances of water in basements, according to the village administration.
The sewer separation project replacing the village’s wastewater collection lines, some of which were originally built in the 1880s, is scheduled for completion by the end of July, Mayor Quinton Babcock said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program awarded Oak Harbor more than $4.1 million in grants, plus an additional loan, for the improvements.
Since July 2020, residents have dealt with road construction and downtown detours necessary to resolve inflow and filtration issues with the village’s combined wastewater/storm water collection system.
“I certainly appreciate all of the cooperation of the residents. It was a long process and inconvenient at times, but these issues needed to be addressed,” said Randy Genzman, Village Administrator, of the project which started in the design, research and funding stages in 2014. “This village council, along with several village councils before it, took the initiative and pressure to see it through for the good of the community.”
The reduction of combined sewer overflows is a major goal for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Combined sewer systems convey both wastewater and rainwater to a wastewater treatment center and were previously considered best practice, due to the cost savings, the mayor said.
However, during high rain events, these systems can create combined sewer overflows into nearby bodies of water.
The Church Street project included the installation of 10,342 feet of storm sewer pipe ranging in size from 15 inches in diameter to 84 inches.
It also included 9,451 feet of sanitary sewer replacement, more than 9,000 feet of road drainage and 3,500 feet of 8-inch waterline replacement resulting in improved volume, pressure and fire protection.
In addition, 5-foot-wide sidewalks were installed and increased parking spaces for businesses, churches and homeowners were added.


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