Council hears I&I and utilities update

By Sheryl Roadcap - [email protected]

SIDNEY — Sidney City Council learned underground utilities operations are in good shape and capable of handling industrial growth at Monday evening’s hybrid-style meeting.

Utilities Director Bill Blakely presented the annual city update at council’s workshop meeting on the utilities and inflow and infiltration (I&I) infrastructure.

Blakely said the city is above all Ohio EPA requirements for I&I lateral/sewers and sanitary sewer and manhole replacements or repairs. He noted the city of Sidney now owns 1,481 laterals out of the 9,140 located in the system. In areas one through four, 74 percent of properties are in compliance with inspections being completed.

In 2019, the city conducted 4,879 utility line locates for both sanitary, sewer and stormwater lines. He also detailed the inventory and maintenance of the storm water collection and distribution systems over the last year. There were 15 water main breaks last year. All of the water main breaks within the last five years have been with cast iron pipes. The city cleaned and inspected 3,782 catch basins, especially ahead of any anticipated heavy rain fall events, Blakely said. In 2019, 27 fire hydrants were repaired of replaced.

Blakely’s report showed there are 9,256 service connections and 9,623 total meters. The smaller number of connections than meters are due to multi-family residences and industrial compound meters, he said. According to data, he noted there is still a possibility of 1,834 lead or potential lead water service lines in the system as of the end of 2019. A total of 63 lead service lines were changed out in 2019, which the water department is continuing working to aggressively to replace.

Blakely said the water treatment plant (WTP) plant pumps an average of 3 million gallons per day (MGD) of raw 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 mixers would be required.

The amount of water the plant has needed to produce has ranged from 3.01 MGD in 2015 to 3.40 MGD in 2019. Blakely said the WTP is currently operating at 48.6 percent of capacity. Water main breaks, leaking service lines, fire hydrant flushing, drought and water theft, Blakely said, are reasons for water loss.

He said with the current 7 MGD level, the plant could handle an additional nine facilities similar to Cargill (pre-expansion), 14 more Freshway Foods or 14 additional facilities the size of Scroll Compressors.

In summary, Blakely said based on the present structure of the WTP, 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. These facts makes Sidney more attractive to any resident of business wanting to locate here, he said.

In other business, Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth reviewed the upcoming Zoning Board agenda scheduled for Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. There will be no Planning Commission meeting in August, as nothing is on the agenda. City Manage Mark Cundiff also reviewed the prospective City Council agenda items for the next 30 days.

City Council went into an executive session to discuss the employment of a public employee. No action was taken after members emerged from either meeting.

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.