St. Clairsville Borough had an emergency meeting Monday evening to discuss options for changes to the St. Clairsville Area Water Co.
The state Department of Environmental Protection does not want the water company to use the filters it now has, and has said the water company must make some changes in order to be in compliance.
Some options they company has looked at were drilling new wells — which appears to be the favored option — but also at dupgrading the filtration system and the building, or a tie-in with Bedford Township’s water system.
“We get inspected on and off by DEP, “ said Charile Smith, vice president of the water company. “They came in and they nailed us on things we had to do in the plant.”
Water company officials met an organization called RCAP Solutions, which helps small water companies. This group also put the borough in touch with a group of engineers called Community Engineering Corps, a group of volunteers who have helped them get where they need to be with DEP.
“There are a lot of changes we need to do to bring us up to compliance, but all of them are very expensive,” said Smith. “We looked at maintaining the system we have, we looked at doing the wells and we looked at tying in with another water system. We’re looking at the most efficient option for us down the road. What we need to do is fix this for the next generation.”
Lead engineer Gene Koontz and Andrew Crew, project manager from Community Engineering, were present at the meeting.
“For a small system here with just over a hundred customers, the options are tough,” said Koontz.
The engineers looked at different ways of upgrading the existing water filtration plant.
One of the ideas was to modernize the plant, but the major upgrades would cost about $600,000.
“We did look at the least expensive options, but we found out that would not pass with DEP, so we abandoned that,” said Koontz. “To just replace the filters would be around $300,000, and again that is a system the DEP is not really in favor of right now.”
They also looked into two options for in-ground water where they would drill two good wells close to the plant. The cost for both options would be about $300,000 to $400,000.
Then they looked into connecting the water system with Bedford Township’s system.
“Bedford Township has recently drilled some new wells and developed their system the whole way up to Fisher’s Store (in Cessna), which is about four miles away,” said Koontz. “With their new wells and new system, they said that they would be interested in serving and cost of that whole project would be $2.5 million.”
The $400,000 ground water project with a 30-year loan with a 1% interest rate would be $430,000. The additional monthly cost for customers would be $27.
“There may be grant money available, but you…