Tonight
53°
Mostly Clear
10%
Tomorrow
80°
Mostly Sunny
6%
Tomorrow Night
65°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
35%
Thursday
85°
Chance Thunderstorms
49%
Thursday Night
70°
Chance Thunderstorms
42%
Friday
83°
Chance Thunderstorms
47%
Friday Night
69°
Chance Thunderstorms
50%
Saturday
82°
Chance Thunderstorms
34%
Saturday Night
65°
Partly Cloudy
10%
Sunday
82°
Partly Sunny
10%
Sunday Night
64°
Partly Cloudy
19%
3 Day
Extended
Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

EPA adds mandate to water treatment

New rules to increase Celina's expenses

By William Kincaid

Celina city employee Scott Conn draws a water sample for testing this morning at. . .

CELINA - New Ohio EPA phosphorus regulations for Celina's wastewater plant will cost the city thousands of dollars in construction and chemical costs, according to city officials.
Council members at a recent committee meeting discussed the forthcoming changes that will affect operations at the treatment plant.
"Basically, the Ohio EPA has mandated that the city of Celina, as well as most cities our size, remove phosphorus from our effluent (discharge)," said Kerry Duncan, Celina's wastewater treatment plant superintendent.
The city's treated wastewater discharges into Beaver Creek.
Currently, there are no limits regarding phosphorus discharge, according to Duncan. The EPA will require a maximum discharge of 1 mg of phosphorus per liter.
"It varies quite a bit," Duncan said about current phosphorus ranges, estimating it's about 2 to 3 mg per liter a day. The plant releases 2.5 million gallons of water a day, Duncan said.
The new phosphorus requirement for Celina was set by the EPA when it applied for its most recent treatment permit renewal, according to Celina Planning and Community Development Director Kent Bryan. The five-year permit was renewed in February 2007, according to a spokesperson at the Ohio EPA.
Bryan said the Ohio EPA completed a water test of the Beaver Creek a few years backs. To improve the creek's water conditions, they set the new mandate for Celina to reduce its phosphorus level.
In order to comply, new chemicals will have to be added to the water before discharge. Duncan said he does not know how much the additional chemicals will cost each month.
Also, Celina will have to construct a small building for chemical feed pumps and tanks, Duncan said. He was reluctant to estimate the construction total, including a monitoring system, but said it would probably cost about $75,000.
The EPA's construction deadline - when any plant additions must be completed - is June 1, 2011.
Phosphorus discharge levels must be compliant with the new standards by Dec. 1, 2011, Duncan said.
Dave Sprague, superintendent of St. Mary's water and sewer departments, said St. Marys has been required to meet a phosphorus discharge level of 1 mg per litter for many years because the city's water eventually flows to Lake Erie.
"We've been under those rules since the mid '80s," he said.
St. Mary's new $11 million wastewater treatment plant was completed and online May 5, 2009.
"We use a combination of biological and chemical treatment," Sprague said about removing phosphorus.
Biological treatment includes creating the right kind of environment to enable microorganisms to "tie up phosphorus in the cell structure," Sprague said.
The microorganisms and phosphorus later settle and are removed, he said.
Additional online story on this date
The Prelude to the Dream returns to Eldora Speedway on Wednesday night and while many things remain unchanged about the charity event, fans will see one major change this year. [More]
Subscriber only stories on this date
St. Marys teacher files lawsuit to regain job
Agencies to host training session on identity theft
Skate park remains on hold, grant in limbo
Celina men face felony charges
Big second inning helps Redskins beat Rangers
Grand Lake Mariners add an exhibition game to schedule
Mercer, Auglaize county farmers eligible for funds