Sewer project :More creek sampling planned

By Larry Limpf

Officials from Lucas and Ottawa counties plan to conduct more sampling from Cedar and Crane creeks before applying for state funding for a major sewer project in the Curtice/Williston area.
The Ottawa County commissioners held a conference call Tuesday with their counterparts in Lucas County as the counties and the City of Oregon plan to collaborate on the project that would include installing sanitary sewers in the areas now serviced by septic systems and package plants.
“We agreed we want to do more sampling in the two creeks and get more data points for our reference,” said Mark Stahl, an Ottawa County commissioner. “It’s a project that is high on Lucas and Ottawa counties’ list.”
Wastewater from a new sewer system would be treated by Oregon, he said, adding the city would meter the flow and charge accordingly.
Stahl said the parties have already reached out to state legislators to have the project considered for funding from the H2Ohio water quality initiative announced in March by Gov. Mike DeWine as part of the 2020-2021 biennium budget.
The governor said at the time the initiative is designed to invest in “targeted, long-term solutions to ensure safe and clean water across the state…”
Kelly Frey, Ottawa County sanitary engineer, said planners will try to include as many residences and businesses with septic systems in the project to make it cost effective. The Wildflower Place subdivision and the Luther Home of Mercy, which rely on package plants to treat wastewater, would also be included.
“We’re working on how to proceed. Obviously funding is a huge part of this. These projects are extremely expensive and we are trying to keep the costs as low as we can,” Frey said.
A preliminary cost estimate is $15-$20 million, he said. Much of the cost would stem from linking to Oregon’s collection system and for treating the sewage.
“The goal is to reduce the amount of E. coli going into Lake Erie and make it a healthier environment. Everybody has to do their part. People need to realize all of the lakefront along the western basin in Ohio is in Ottawa and Lucas counties,” Frey said.


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