2013-05-01 / Front Page

Plan New County Wastewater Plant Near Delta?

by David Pugh
Buckeye Staff Writer

While Fulton County commissioners are exploring the possibility of a $15 million county water system, they are also considering a $7 million wastewater treatment plant for the industrial corridor near Delta.

The proposed wastewater treatment plant would treat wastewater from the North Star Blue Scope Steel plant, and fluid leeching from the old Fulton County landfill.

If a county-owned wastewater treatment plant is fi- nancially feasible, it will be capable of treating between 600,000 and 1 million gallons of wastewater per day.

It would be located on 13 acres the county purchased last year on the west side of Co. Rd. 9, between Co. Rd. F and the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks.

By comparison, the Archbold wastewater treatment plant is capable of treating 2.5 million gallons per day.

Origin

Zaid Musallam, Fulton County director of public utilities, said the wastewater plant proposal had its origins in 2004. That year, the county, in cooperation with the York Township Trustees, looked into a wastewater system to serve the industrial corridor.

The corridor is defined as the area along St. Rt. 109, from the Norfolk Southern tracks to the Ohio Turnpike.

Fulton County Processing, a steel processing firm, is located along St. Rt. 109 north of St. Rt. 2. Other major operations in the corridor include North Star and Worthington Steel, another processing operation.

It was decided a wastewater plant could be built, if there were enough customers to pay for it.

Currently, North Star uses water from a pipeline from the City of Toledo. The water is used in part of the process of making steel from scrap metal.

The company treats the water, then discharges it by pipeline to the Maumee River.

Musallam said the company has a direct discharge permit from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Also, Fulton County constructed an underground tile system to collect leachate from the old county landfill, located near the intersection of Co. Rds. 9 and F.

The village of Delta wastewater plant is not able to treat the material, so it is pumped into trucks and taken to the county-owned wastewater system at Pettisville.

Musallam said North Star asked the county to look into providing wastewater treatment as a cost-saving measure for its operation.

If the county begins treating wastewater, he said North Star could discontinue some, but not all, of its treatment processes.

Since it would not be directly discharging treated waste into the Maumee, it would no longer have to deal with the OEPA.

Financing

Financing for the $7 mil- lion plant could come from grants and-or low-interest loans.

“The worst-case scenario is all loans. The best-case scenario would be 50-50” grants and low-interest loans, Musallam said.

To get grants, he said the project must be some way connected to economic development and job creation or retention, either through existing businesses or new businesses.

“With this plant, we are probably looking at existing businesses,” he said.

Musallam said he wasn’t sure about a timeline for the industrial corridor wastewater plant.

Both the county and North Star are gathering information, and the county is looking at financing through the economic development angle.

“Then we have to sit down and look at the numbers,” he said.

Water

Within the next few days, Musallam said county officials hope to have some preliminary cost estimates for a county regional water system.

The proposed regional water system would connect the Archbold and Wauseon water treatment plants via pipeline down Co. Rd. C.

Along the way, it could tie into the Pettisville water distribution system, and improve that community’s water pressure issues.

The pipeline would continue east to Co. Rd. 9, turn north, and connect with the Toledo-to-North Star water trunk line at Co. Rd. F.

That trunk line supplies water to North Star, the county’s northeast water system and the Swancreek water district.

The county is pursuing the project because county offi- cials fear the City of Toledo’s bulk water rates will rise.

Toledo’s water system needs a large number of expensive repairs.

Once cost estimates are available, Archbold and Wauseon will determine their wholesale water rates– the amount they will charge the county to supply water.

A final decision on whether to proceed with a county regional water system has not been made.

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