Village cited by OEPA for water issue

WASHINGTONVILLE – Customers will receive a notice that the village water system has elevated levels of trihalomethanes (TTHM) and exceeded the maximum contaminant level (MCL).

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued a violation letter on Jan. 15 saying the MCL was based on running annual averages for the fourth quarter and ordered quarterly monitoring.

The village buys its water from Salem and Councilman Jim Smith noted a city letter regarding it’s treatment and intentions.

Village Utilities Superintendent Brian Gudat said the levels do not pose an immediate risk to health.

“It’s still safe to drink,” he said, while noting (very) long-term exposure can cause cancer.

The EPA said the compliance standard MCL is 0.080 MG/L and the villages’ annual average during the fourth quarter was 0.085 MG/L.

Smith said the violations were the same that spurred the village to look at purchasing stirring equipment for the water tank and Gudat said he recommended the purchase isn’t made now.

Councilman Herman Frank said, “It sounds like some of these problems extend back to Salem.”

Gudat asked council to consider purchasing one or two new flushing units at $1,934 apiece and explained the schedule he currently uses to flush the lines at 10 different points.

He wanted one flushing unit for the east end and one to move around. The units mount on fire hydrants.

“We can put one at the east end,” Gudat said, “and program it to flush when we want and take the other and move it around town where we want.”

He said the units are powered by 9V batteries.

Frank asked Gudat what he thought.

Gudat explained his flushing schedule was three times a week and took about an hour at each point and was pretty much every day.

He usually hooks a meter up and in answer to a question from Councilman Al Vignon, Gudat said there was no way to loop the lines. Frank asked about checking for chlorine, if it was a required.

From a maintenance standpoint, it was, Gudat said, but it wasn’t mandatory for a report.

“With the (flushing) unit monitored and programmed we’ll know the chlorine will be good,” he said and Council President Ramona Custer asked when he needed a decision from council on the purchase.

Gudat said about spring time.

Smith asked what happened if the violations were not corrected and Gudat said it could lead to additional enforcement action.

“It doesn’t really say,” he said, “I had heard it means fines.”

In other business, resident Martin Limpose aired a number of concerns he had regarding people driving over and parking on sidewalks; children playing in an area that had a previously posted no parking sign; a sewage back-up in his residence cause by people flushing handiwipes down drains; and people parking the wrong way on High St.

Mayor Will Jones checked off each concern noting each they will be addressed.