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Water Supply Improvements in Whiteford Township

Whiteford Township trustees Bernice Heidelberg, Don Sahloff, and Supervisor Walter Ruhl celebrated the start of construction on a brand new, $9.5-million public water system by inviting neighbors and partners to a groundbreaking on June 22, 2017. Kurt Erichsen, vice president of Water Quality Planning, represented TMACOG at the event.

Walter Ruhl said that the new water supply has been needed for a long time to address health and safety issues. The soil in the township region is karst which is highly porous. Most households get drinking water from individual shallow wells and considering the soil type, “they might as well be drinking untreated surface water,” said Supervisor Ruhl. “They could be ingesting fertilizer, chemicals from cars and industry, and anything that falls on the soil or is in the soil.” Ruhl added, “When we were computerizing records for the cemetery we saw that lots of people were dying from diseases caused by E. coli in the water. Safe water has been a problem for a long, long time.”

Beginning about four years ago, the township trustees began to make inroads into the problems of water supply and water treatment. The USDA Rural Development helped pay for a sewer system that connects to the Lucas County wastewater treatment system. New sewers ended the use of home septic systems in the area which are known to affect water quality. Next, trustees began to look at water supply. Grants from the USDA again were secured and will pay for about half of the cost of the new water supply system. Water will be accessed from a 300-feet-deep well that reaches the Old Sylvania Aquifer and will be pumped from the aquifer through a state-of-the-art membrane treatment system. Additional treatment includes softening the water by having some chemicals removed, and adding an anti-corrosive. The anti-corrosive provides a protective coating to lead pipes which may be in older houses. “Households won’t need any water softener anymore,” said Ruhl. “It’s all done for them.” The new system should be complete in the summer of 2018.

Water supply will be through eight miles of pipe. It won’t cover every part of the township but, “it’s a big, big step,” said Ruhl. “When people ask about safe clean water, we can tell them that we provide it.”

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