Industrial growth has spurred the Village of Delta to request tapping into Fulton County’s water system for half a million gallons per day.
The Fulton County Commissioners last week approved the village proposal and will apply on its behalf to the Toledo Regional Water Authority (TRWA). The village will also consider increasing the capacity of its water plant, which is currently 1.2 million gallons per day.
Village Administrator Brad Peebles said increases in Delta’s industrial base are the major focus behind the request for more water. Demand from Worthington Industries, NatureFresh, the impending Nova Steel plant on County Road H and other possible projects in the works will require greater water capacity, he said.
“Those needs are driving our demands up,” Peebles said. “We’re trying to determine what options we have available, whether it be to buy water from Fulton County and sell it to a portion of our customer base or if it makes more financial sense for us to expand our plant to be able to serve additional customers.”
During warm weather months Delta’s water capacity exceeds the Environmental Protection Agency’s allowance of 80% of its water plant’s capacity. The EPA suggested that once the plant overtakes usage of 900,000 gallons per day the village should pursue additional water capacity.
Peebles said, however, that the village can’t consider tapping into Fulton County’s water system an option “until I’ve got some clarity as to whether or not (it) can connect. I can’t consider it an option until it is truly an option.” He said that will be determined by the cost, which would be set after the request was approved.
Peebles said he would require a written document from the TRWA specifying approval of up to 500,000 gallons of water per day for the village. Any amount over that would mean applying for additional capacity.
Expanding the village water plant to accept an additional half a million gallons per day would cost an estimated $4 million.
“I think we have to evaluate the costs and the impacts of expanding our plant versus just making that connection to Fulton County,” Peebles said. “With the growth we’re experiencing, and with the projected growth area that we would look to serve, without question we’re going to have to consider increased capacity needs.”
Delta Mayor Frank Wilton said the EPA advised the village to look into increased water capacity. “It gives us a little bit of a fallback,” he said. “If we didn’t get another drop of rain we have about 450 days (of water) in the reservoir.”
Delta currently services about 1,350 residential and commercial customers monthly. Its main source of water originates from Bad Creek. Peebles said the village wants to ensure it has enough water capacity to meet the needs of industrial growth, adding, “It’s much more prudent to do it now than it is than do it when we don’t have enough water…when we’re behind the eight ball and not being able to serve our customer base.”
He said citizen concerns that the reservoir has at times dropped below capacity are unfounded.
“Every time the reservoir gets low people think we’re low, but the reality is that even when the reservoir’s been at its lowest point we’ve had in excess of 300 million gallons of water available,” Peebles said.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.