208 Plan Update Promotes Economic Development
In the North Baltimore region on the border of Wood and Hancock counties, residents are juggling issues concerning combined sewer overflows, home septic systems, and desire to attract business development. Revisions to the Areawide Water Quality Management Plan (the 208 Plan) show how local officials and other partners responded to these challenges to the benefit of all partners.
Partners in the area are the Village of North Baltimore, CSX, and the Northwestern Water and Sewer District. In 2009 when CSX needed sewage treatment, neither North Baltimore nor nearby Hoytville could accept the increased flow. The Hoytville facility was at capacity and North Baltimore was frequently overwhelmed by stormwater in their system of combined sanitary and storm sewers. However, in recent years, North Baltimore has made major investments to separate the storm and sanitary sewers. They are on target to completely separate the systems by 2017. The work done to date has already greatly reduced the volume of flow to the wastewater treatment plant.
This results in a win-win situation. North Baltimore has gained new customers for its facility from the Northwestern Water and Sewer District, bringing in needed funds and actually improving efficiency. And Wood County now has excess treatment capacity to offer and can seek new development. Economic development professionals in the region are looking at the I-75, SR 18 area as one with development potential.
The TMACOG Wastewater Committee has made other significant changes to update the 208 Plan for 2016. The plan was presented to the TMACOG Board of Trustees at its regular meeting Wednesday, February 17. The plan was approved and will be sent to the Ohio EPA for inclusion in state-wide plans.