The Northwestern Water & Sewer District (The District) continues to participate in the Toledo Chamber of Commerce funded regional water discussions between the City of Toledo and the eight agencies that purchase water from the City by contract. These agencies include Lucas County, Southern Monroe County Water, the City of Sylvania, The District, the City of Perrysburg, Fulton County, the City of Maumee and the Village of Whitehouse.
The biggest challenge in these discussions is to agree on priorities such as water quality, reasonable rates, ownership and board control in trying to form a regional agreement. While trying to sort out these differences, it appears the concerns in the past have been more political than operational.
The difference in the water discussions now is facilitator Eric Rothstein, who comes to the area with experience in regional water concepts through his work in Detroit, Milwaukee, and Orlando. His efforts keeping the discussions focused are crucial for the group.
While regional water talks continue, the District is waiting on the completion of a new study on water issues, which may offer water alternatives. We should be hearing more about both the study and regional water talks within the next few months. We encourage you to stay informed as the results will impact your rates, depending on where you live.
Wood County Economic Development Study
This organization will release a Phase II study that looks harder at using the City of Bowling Green’s Maumee River source. Their existing plant has excess capacity now but would have to expand to serve larger areas. An expanded expensive reservoir is needed too, with or without an expanded plant.
This study follows the Phase I study, which provided several alternatives for drinking water, primarily in the northern end of the county.
TAWA (Toledo Area Water Authority)
This proposed ORC 6119 group may consist of the seller of water, which is the City of Toledo and (up to) 8 current buyers of their water now. The Toledo Chamber of Commerce hired a facilitator to lead the parties through a study looking at regionalizing their water plant and distribution systems.
That group has been meeting for several months now, and a document called an “MOU”- a “memorandum of understanding” will be out soon that looks harder at this, with more detail.
In Wood County, we are blessed with several sources of public drinking water. For example, if you live in a rural area, you may receive your water from your own drinking well. Public sources, however, include:
-Lake Erie water via Oregon and Toledo water treatment plants.
-Maumee River water via Bowling Green
-City of Fostoria water
-Multiple small streams or creeks provide the raw water for a small municipality treatment plant such as North Baltimore or Pemberville for example.
Since many of these distribution systems have been in place for 50-60-70 years, reconnecting to an alternate source isn’t easy nor affordable. Public infrastructure such as pump stations and water towers are not easily reused. Thus, the options must be reviewed and studied to ensure the best overall option is also the most economical overall.
In our largest area of service, approximately 8,000 Wood County accounts get water from Toledo through our distribution system. Approximately 8,000 additional accounts inside the City of Perrysburg receive Toledo water too!
Toledo provides water service through our East Broadway and Superior Street pump stations for these 8,000 accounts in Lake Township, Troy Township, Perrysburg Township, the western ½ of Northwood, Rossford & Walbridge are served. They have been served in some of these areas in this manner, since 1967.
Depending on their geographical locations, some may be able to be served by other water treatment plants. The point of these two studies is to determine which option(s) make the most sense, the best long-term source.