Last week I outlined several regional water studies underway in the area. Let me take a few minutes to elaborate on these and detail what each will include and the objective they hope to address. They are all a little different in their nature and origin.
- TMACOG’s analysis of Toledo’s water rates
The objective of this study is to determine Toledo and their outside customers’ water rates over the next 6-8 years during a time in which the City is spending between $280-360 million in infrastructure improvements. Many if not all of Toledo’s contracts with outside customers expire near 2024 and these long-term improvements will weigh heavy on the users as monthly bills increase. NOTE: more than half of the City’s water revenue comes from outside users and overall usage is expected to DECREASE 1% per year for the next 5-10 years.
THIS STUDY WON’T examine alternative water sources for many of the users and by the time the last of the expected Toledo rate increases are in place, a substantial financial involvement would already have been made by outside users even before other alternatives could be built to replace Toledo as a water source.
- WCEDC’s (Wood County Economic Development Commission) Wood County water options
The objective of this study is to determine what options Wood County residents may have for alternative water supplies other than Toledo. Obviously the city of Bowling Green comes forward in an instant and it could serve more users but a major investment would be required for additional raw water storage near the Maumee River. This would need to be done first and at quite a cost. Additionally, many parts of our county would need substantial construction of water main pipes to be served by Bowling Green, especially the north and southeast parts of the county. Bowling Green could serve Perrysburg and parts of the District system pretty easily, but others are more remote and therefore more expensive to reach.
THIS STUDY WON’T compare the Bowling Green option as an end-all for all users in the county and some residents will be easier to serve than others. Smaller options such as Fostoria, Wayne, North Baltimore, and Pemberville may/may not be considered due to their overall size and capacities.
- City of Sylvania’s alternative water study
The objective of this study is to build on an older study. Called the “Black and Veatch study,” it dates from from approximately 15 years ago. That study looked at alternatives to Toledo’s plant for users in and near the city of Sylvania. This current update of that study will be smaller in scope and smaller in the area to be served, yet still examines bringing Lake Erie water to the Sylvania area via another route.
THIS STUDY WON’T examine options for many other communities in the region because it focuses on the route of a line coming in and around the city of Sylvania. It would just be too expensive to serve some areas of the region due to the long mileage of piping that would need to be built.
- Henry County’s decision on regional water source options
The objective of this study is to look at options for Henry County (and some parts of western Lucas County) besides the primary Napoleon option. The participants in this study do have alternatives such as their own public well systems, and Bowling Green, that could be attractive. However, the location of the users and the costs to reach them could be prohibitive.
THIS STUDY WON’T be able to serve all areas of that county, and only some regional areas of adjoining counties but it does give those adjoining areas some options and the ability to be more involved with their neighboring communities in smaller regional plant options than they have ever had before!
This is probably enough for this writing, but more to come, stay tuned!