SIDNEY — It was a question on everyone’s mind in the state of Ohio — Could the water emergency which happened in Toledo over the weekend happen in our hometown?
“What’s the chance of what happened in Toledo happening in Sidney,” asked Mayor Mike Barhorst during Monday night’s council workshop.
“That was a phenomenon that may never be generated again,” said Larry Broughton, Sidney’s utilities director. “With Lake Erie, you see a lot of depth (in the lake). Their treatment plants use various pulling points from the lake. The algae just got stacked up.”
A water emergency was declared early Saturday morning by Toledo’s mayor after water testing showed an unsafe level of the toxic microcystin, which is caused by toxic algae blooms. The water was declared safe to drink Monday.
The city of Sidney, said Broughton, gets its water from two sources, from wells and the Great Miami River (which starts in Indian Lake).
“The water we get from Indian Lake has such a dilution factor that it has begun dispersing by the time it leaves Indian Lake,” he said. “We also have our own treatment plans in place. We talked with the EPA this afternoon also. We asked the question — What if all else fails? — and the EPA worked with us to answer that question.”
Broughton said the city’s new water sources will be also be safe since it will be from a well field.
Council also heard reports from Brent Bruggemnn, stormwater coordinator, Barry Zerkle, wasterwater treatment plant superintendent, and Jason Smith, water treatment plant assistant superintendent, who presented updates on each of the plants.
The capacity vs. future growth of the water treatment plant shows there is an average of 2.722 million gallons per day of finished water pumped. The plant has the capacity of 7 million gallons per day.
In 2011, 3.18 MGD were pumped, as compared to 3.04 MGD in 2013. Smith said some of the reasons for the decrease includes having a cold winter with above average snowfall and average to moderate rainfall which led to less watering for plants and lawns. The leak detection program, which was conducted in 2012 and 2013, was used to locate, grade and repair water main leaks.
Smith said the current plant could accommodate three additional industries equivalent to Cargill or six additional industries equivalent to Freshway Foods.
Projects planned at the water plant include rehab for the backwash pump motor and pump, which is scheduled for 2015; replacing the plant gearbox which is scheduled from 2014 to 2019; replacing the boiler, scheduled for 2015; building a second service lime sludge lagoon; and completing work on the new water source.
Final plans for the lagoon are being approved and the project should be put out for bid in 30 days.
Bruggeman discussed the six required minimum control measures as required for the city’s five-year permit for the storm water program.
Public education/outreach must reach 50 percent of the city’s population, Through a grant, the city installed a billboard talking about storm water pollution. They also distributed educational materials to the community and worked with the Shelby County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Public involvement/participation included the Clean Sweep of the Great Miami River and working with Sidney Middle School students to place decals by storm water drains.
Illicit discharge, he said, requires identifying and screening outfalls. A total of 67 outfalls have been identified. Regulations have been established through city codified ordinances and enforcement through education to prohibit the nonstormwater discharges.
Other items deal with construction site runoff control, post-construction stormwater management, best management practices and pollution prevention/good housekeeping.
Bruggeman also discussed the stormwater fee and what it is used for.
Zerkle discussed the capacity vs. future growth of the wastewater treatment plant. He explained the treatment process of the plant and components of treatment, which include hydraulic loading, organic/inorganic loadings, solid loadings and the operation condition of the plant processes and equipment.
He talked about the average flow per day for hydraulic loading (5.27 MGD in 2013); influent organic/inorganic loading (19,999 pounds per day in 2013); influent solids loading (6,903 pounds per day in 2013) and solids treatment (31,244 gallons per day in 2013).
Zerkle discussed how much growth the plant could handle. He said it could handle additional flow of four additional industries equivalent to Cargill; or 10 additional industries with flow equivalent to Honda; or eight additional industries with flow equivalent to Freshway Foods; or 11 additional industries with flow equivalent to MaMa Rosa’s.
The loading capability of the plant could handle one additional industry with organic/inorganic loading equivalent to Cargill; or two additional industries equivalent to Honda with local limits for metals; or two additional industries equivalent to Freshway Foods with organic loading;or 10 additional industries equivalent to MaMa Rosa’s with organic loading.
Council’s next meeting will be Aug. 11.