Washingtonville council to begin water fix planning

WASHINGTONVILLE – Village council approved moving ahead with engineering design plans for the water tank to remove elevated levels of trihalomethanes (TTHM) that exceeded the maximum contaminant level (MCL).

In February, notices were issued to village water customers advising a violation letter from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was received on Jan. 15.

The EPA said the MCL was based on running annual averages for the fourth quarter and ordered quarterly monitoring.

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

Washingtonville Utilities Superintendent Brian Gudat said the levels didn’t 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

During Monday’s meeting, Gudat said Howells and Baird Engineering of Salem would design a mixer and spray system to remove the TTHMs, in a package that will include air ducting and a blower to suck the material from the tank.

He quoted a price of $12,750 for the engineering and Councilman Herman Frank said completing the design phase will allow the village to apply for grants.

In response to a question from Mayor Will Jones, Gudat said the engineering shouldn’t take too long and Jones said, “this is something Howells and Baird and we have worked on … we need action fast for village customers.”

Councilman Jim Smith said, “It’s water we’re paying for” and Frank said, “There’s not much choice.”

Gudat said the village shouldn’t have to pay the entire amount up front and Councilman Al Vignon moved that council proceed with the design work which was approved unanimously with a 6-0 vote.

Gudat also advised council that a variable-speed drive on a sewage plant pump “fried itself” and quoted a cost of $4,263 to replace it. The cost would include a surge protector the original-equipment pump, installed in 1995, didn’t have.

Frank asked if they were using one pump with a surge protector now and Gudat said, “yes” and Jones asked about other quotes.

Gudat said that was the best price after checking around.

“By all means if someone knows (of a better price) … tell me,” he said.

Councilwoman Becky Vignon repeated Frank’s assessment of the TTHM fix in the water tank, and said, “Not much of a choice” and Jones asked, “How long?

Gudat said it will take a day to install once it arrives.

In other business, police Sergeant Bill Beaver said the department is participating in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s ” Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign as it did last year.

Each year on average, more than 10,000 people die on the road due to drunk driving.

In order to stop this deadly epidemic, the NHTSA said law enforcement in every state and most U.S. towns and cities will be cracking down on drunk driving from Aug. 15 through Labor Day.

Beaver said, “Basically, what we want motorists to do is be conscious of their consumption of alcoholic beverages. Don’t drink and drive … we’ll be on the alert for impaired drivers and stepping up to a higher lever of traffic enforcement.”

He said no area of the village is targeted, and police will be watching everywhere.

For more information on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” program, visit www.nhtsa.gov/drivesober.