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|05-13-03: Celina will try new technology to clean water
|By SEAN RICE
The Daily Standard
Celina is taking a chance on new water treatment technology that may
solve the city's water problems with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency at a
fraction of the cost and time of other options.
Safety-Service Director Mike Sovinski told Celina City Council members
Monday night that U.S. Filter Products of Cary, N.C., will perform a pilot test on
Celina's water using the Actiflo system, for half its usual cost.
The testing will last approximately two weeks at $4,000 a week,
Sovinski said. A mobile treatment unit will be towed to the water treatment plant and
parked outside. It will test Actiflo's effectiveness at removing trihalomethanes from the
raw water from the lake, before it enters the plant.
If the treatment works, the city could opt for installing two new
clarifiers with Actiflo technology, rather than proceeding down the road toward a new
plant for nearly $8 million. The new clarifiers would cost near $1 million and a wall in
the plant would come out to fit the equipment.
The clarifying tanks are one of several components in the treatment
plant. Officials hope more effective clarifiers will result in the other components
working better to clean the water.
The Ohio EPA has ordered Celina to provide a permanent fix for the
water system after repeated violations of high levels of trihalomethanes (THMs) in the
water. Celina is following steps provided by the EPA and also will be digging a test well
north of the city to find a cleaner source than Grand Lake St. Marys. The city can abandon
the EPA order to build a new $8 million plant, if an alternative arises that sufficiently
solves the poor water quality issue.
On the well front, Sovinski announced that Reynold's Inc., of
Middletown, was the lowest bidder in its search for a well digger. The company offered a
bid of $44,414 to dig wells and perform studies on the water found on a site a mile north
of Celina on U.S. 127. The council took no action, as a formal agreement will be signed at
a later date. The highest bid was $81,000.
Council members also asked Police Chief Dave Slusser to give an update
on what kind of actions officers are using to persuade city residents into obeying junk
and high grass laws.
Slusser said 28 properties have been contacted for excessive junk,
automobiles or for a grass/weeds nuisance this year already. Most residents fix the
problem promptly, but a handful the chief labeled as recurring offenders.
"We have some people who don't cut their grass until we tell them
to," Slusser said.
Some property owners moved automobiles to other properties, or into
garages, only to repeat the offense shortly after, the chief said.
"Though, most are cleaned up with one phone call," Slusser
When questioned about repeat offenders, Slusser said, "you can't
force an irresponsible person to be responsible." Council members questioned if
there is any stricter action to take against repeat of-fenders, and if the city's
ordinance needs to be updated. Slusser said some property owners fight the city in court.
Some council members told Slusser to drag them into court if he has to,
and asked if the department is the suitable agency for the responsibility.
"We have limited resources," Slusser said. "When it
comes down to property crimes and nuisance complaints ... we have to make snap
In other business:
- Councilors passed an ordinance raising sewer rates by 24 percent over
two years to a third reading. Not enough members were in attendance to pass it as an
emergency, as the administration planned.
Councilman Denny Smith said Tom Knapke of Wright State University-Lake
Campus offered to act as a facilitator for economic development forums the city plans to
hold. Smith said they would be part of "on-going sessions on economic
development." A forum was scheduled for 7 p.m. May 29 at the Richardson-Bretz
- Councilman Ron Hammons announced that signs on the city's list of
abandoned signs have begun to come down. The Misery Mansion sign on Logan Street came down
Saturday "in a small ceremony," he said.
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The Standard Printing
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH