DELTA - The Ohio EPA has agreed to consider the village's plan to trap and treat sewage overflows, an alternative to an approved sewer separation project that could save the village $12 million.
The EPA sent Delta a letter early this month announcing its decision to allow the village to alter its $8.9 million plan to separate storm and sanitary sewer lines.
Mayor Dan Miller had said that rising raw materials costs and street reconstruction likely would boost costs to $16 million. The cost would be a heavy burden for a village with an annual budget of $2.2 million, he said.
Village officials have proposed an alternative method in which sewage is captured in a clay-lined retention pond until it can be treated. The project, the mayor expects, would cost between $4 million and $6 million.
"It's a big savings for the village of Delta," Mr. Miller said.
"I'm ecstatic for the citizens."
Delta's proposal is due to the EPA by next October. The new plan would need to be approved by state environmental officials.
The Ohio EPA has been charged with implementing the Wet Weather Water Quality Act of 2000. The law requires communities with a combined storm and sanitary sewer system to develop a plan to minimize overflows in times of heavy rain.
Last year, 47 sewage overflows occurred in Delta, allowing untreated sewage to drain into Bad Creek.
EPA spokesman Dina Pierce said the agency is doubtful the village can reduce its sewage overflows to below the maximum allowable number of four with the trap-and-treat method. But she said the EPA is open to hearing the village's proposal.
"Basically what the letter says is, 'We would like you to stick with the plan,'" she said. "But we understand the issues you are having - here are some alternatives."
Mr. Miller said village council has agreed to hire Poggemeyer Design Group of Bowling Green to develop a trap-and-treat plan. He said in addition to building the retention pond, the village has plans to expand some of its sewer lines to bring overflows below the maximum allowable number of four per year.
The village will perform sewer separations gradually as it rebuilds its streets, Mr. Miller said.
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