Midvale, Ohio - Village officials say they’ll be keeping the community in the loop as they explore different options to reduce the level of manganese with the town’s water supply.
Water Board President Randy Cadle says the Environmental Protection Agency has been sending them monthly letters for at least a year warning them that the amount of manganese in the village water supply was in excess of the state’s maximum contaminant level. He says the EPA is now ordering them to bring those levels into compliance.
“We’ve got reports from the EPA about high levels of manganese in our water, and they want us to look into either developing some kind of filtration system or a water plant, and they’re forcing the issue on us,” he says.
Cadle says they’re committed to taking care of the problem but he also wants to assure the community that the water is still safe to drink.
“It’s been that way for a while. It’s safe for people to drink. We treat our water every single day, and it’s just that the EPA is saying to every village you have to get that down to the levels that we want it,” he says.
Cadle says the board has been looking at a variety of options that range from purchasing water from other municipalities to applying for grants to help them upgrade their current system.
“What we did was have Twin City come to talk to us about what they could do to help us. We had New Phila come and say what they had to offer, and then we met briefly with an engineer about what we can do,” he says.
Cadle says right now they’re leaning more toward upgrades so they can keep local control over the town’s water.
“At Midvale, we want to control our own water system, so we’re going to have to look at either a filtration system or some type of water plant, so that’s what we’re going to be doing now, and we’re going to be meeting with our engineer in the near future,” he says.
To fund those improvements, Cadle says the board may need to increase the town’s water rate but they don’t yet by how much.
“We might have to increase water rates to come up with money that we can put aside and have that money on a 20-year plan, get a grant from the federal government and then we can repay it with those funds.”
Cadle says an increase of $5 a month to each of the town’s 1,100 water customers would generate $66,000 per year, which amounts to around $15 million over a 20-year period.
Cadle says they’ll be sharing additional information with the community after the engineer gives them a better idea of what upgrades are needed and how much those improvements will cost.
STACEY CARMANY, TUSCO TV