Water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the state awarded grants

By: - July 12, 2021 12:40 am

Drinking water photo from the Ohio Governor’s Office.

Water and wastewater infrastructure programs across the state are getting $9 million in funding boosts from the state’s H2Ohio program.

The state awarded the money based on economic need and project readiness, and acknowledged while awarding the money that Ohio has significant infrastructure issues that span many communities.

“It is estimated that approximately 31% of all household sewage treatment systems in Ohio are experiencing some degree of failure and are discharging untreated sewage that potentially exposes citizens to harmful bacteria and pathogens,” the governor’s office said in releasing the grant program award winners.

The highest amount awarded was $1.5 million to the city of Canton for water line, hydrant and water service connections “to provide safer drinking water to residents in the area that are currently on private wells,” according to the grant announcement.

The project is set to impact 235 city residents.

Darke County’s Palestine-Hollansburg Joint Sewer District and Adams County’s West Union will receive $1 million each for wastewater projects. Palestine-Hollansburg is constructing a regional sanitary sewer collection system and wastewater treatment plant to replace home sewage treatment systems for more than 200 homes and businesses, according to the release.

“Approximately 45 home sewage treatement systems in Palestine are not meeting Ohio EPA discharge standards which equates to approximately 18,000 gallons per day of untreated sewage going into Spring Branch, which flows to the West branch of Greenville Creek,” the state said, adding that 70 homes in Hollansburg also don’t meet Ohio EPA discharge standards, causing untreated sewage to go into the East fork of the Whitewater River.

West Union will eliminate septic systems for about 60 homes and businesses with their $1 million award, bringing them onto the West Union sewer system.

Cities in Jackson County, Columbiana County, Licking County, and Athens County will receive $500,000 each, most of which involves installing new sewer lines or moving residents from septic tanks to newer wastewater systems.

Licking County’s Johnstown is set to use the money to expand the sewer system to serve the Johnstown Enterprise Center and install new sewer lines “to solve sewage backups, overflows and residential flooding problems.”

The state said a population of 5,500 will be served as part of the Johnstown project.

Athens County’s project will serve 169 homes, 50 homes in Jackson County’s Coalton will be impacted and 153 homes in Columbiana County will benefit from the grant.

Middleport and Mount Eaton will receive $500,000 each to support water main replacement and well construction. Mount Eaton’s water treatment plant will also be rebuilt using funds from the grant program.

Middleport’s lead service lines are also part of the project for which H2Ohio provided grant funds.

“The village’s current water distribution system is undersized and aging, causing regular water main breaks and the associated need for boil orders,” the grant announcement stated.

Middleport’s project should improve drinking water quality for 2,530 residents, and Mount Eaton’s improvements should impact 540 residents.

More than 100 residents not served by public water supplies from the Morgan-Meigsville Rural Water District are set to see improvements with the $350,000 grant the district received to extend water lines to those currently using private wells, springs and hauled water.

“Poor water quality is frequently encountered in these individual water supplies, and periods of dry weather can impact the quantity of water available to residents,” the state noted.

The governor’s office also said $1.6 million in H2Ohio funding will got to 11 counties to help low-to-moderate-income households repair or replace home sewage treatment systems.

Each of those counties will receive $150,000 for the projects. Those counties are:

  • Licking County
  • Wayne County
  • Meigs County
  • Hamilton County
  • Lake County
  • Clark County
  • Stark County
  • Lorain County
  • Scioto County
  • Clermont County
  • Columbiana County

Another $250 million is set to go into a new water and sewer program from the state, which the governor’s office said would be coming out of American Rescue Plan dollars. Details on that program are “forthcoming,” a release on the H2Ohio grants stated.

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Susan Tebben
Susan Tebben

Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.

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