Sidney’s water operations OK for growth

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney’s wastewater treatment, water treatment and stormwater management operations are in good shape and are capable of handling industrial growth, City Council learned Monday night.

Personnel from the three operations presented annual reports at council’s workshop meeting.

Brent Bruggeman, stormwater management operator, said the city is required to conduct six minimum control measures to receive a five-year National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit: public education/outreach; public involvement/participation; illicit discharge detection/elimination; construction site stormwater runoff control; post-construction stormwater management; and pollution prevention/good housekeeping.

He said the city has kept with the same public education message on a billboard reminding viewers that “storm drains are not garbage cans and by distributing information to the public. City staff work to educate first-time offenders who discharge illicit materials, he said, and issue fines to second-time offenders.

Bruggeman shared that during the public education effort, they went into the schools and worked with sixth- and seventh-grade science students to stencil stormwater drains around the school to raise awareness the water runs directly to the river. Also he said during the annual clean sweep of 6.5 miles of the Great Miami River last month, 3,000 pounds of trash and a little more than 30 tires were removed. About the same amount of trash was found during this year’s clean up as was found last year.

Summarizing the city’s stormwater monitoring program, Bruggeman said the city is meeting all Ohio EPA requirements; enforcement has been accomplished primarily through education rather than penalties; storm sewer mapping needs to be completed; and the stormwater management plan was updated in Feburary 2017.

He noted the 90 cent stormwater fee increase implemented earlier this year is expected to generate approximately $300,000 annually for capital projects. Despite with the increase, the city of Sidney’s stormwater fee is still much lower than surrounding communities’ fees.

Concerning wastewater management, Barry Zerkle, wastewater treatment plant superintendent, said the plant is capable of handling the flow of several additional industrial facilities. Based upon 2017 data, Sidney’s plant can handle enough wastewater flow for six additional factories the size of Cargill and remove pollutants for three additional facilities the size of Freshway Foods for 10 additional factories the size of Honda of America.

In summary, Zerkle said the plant is in “good shape with capacity for existing and new customers.”

Jim Bennett, water treatment plant assistant supervisor, said the plant pumps an average of 2.9 million gallons per day (MGD) of finished water. The plant has a design capacity of 7 MGD. It has a 10-MGD maximum tank structure presently, but to reach the 10 MGD level, additional treatment equipment would be required.

The amount of water the plant has needed to produce decreased from 3.28 MGD in 2012 to 2.93 MGD in 2014. Year-to-date, the average is 3.01 MGD. Bennett said the reason for the decrease is the city’s leak-detection program, properly working meters and growth of new customers.

He said with the current 7 MGD level, the plant could handle an additional 14 facilities similar to Cargill, 23 more Freshway Foods or 18 additional facilities the size of Emerson.

In summary, Bennett said Sidney is in very good shape for producing water for many years to come. He said joining the city’s new water source with its present source will allow for future growth of industrial plants, as needed.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.