DEPARTMENT OF ENGINEERING
Water Filtration Division
WATER & SEWER SERVICES
Wastewater Treatment Plant
A Brief Look at Sandusky's Water & Sewer Operations
What Will This Increase Cost?
What is the City of Sandusky Planning on Doing With These Additional Funds?
What Have We Already Accomplished?
The City will be spending money generated through rate increases to make numerous improvements to our Water & Wastewater Plants and include the following:
Rapid Sand Filter Renovation & Improvements – Our 12 filters will be rebuilt to comply with all new federal regulations. These filters are the last step in processing raw water prior to reaching our distribution system and filter out those particles and organisms which chemical treatment cannot remove.
Clearwell Renovation & Improvements – This project will help to slow down the speed at which water is processed to allow the chlorine more time to do its job in disinfecting the water of certain contaminants.
Elevated Water Tank & Associated Facilities – This project will serve to assist with several issues which need to be addressed regarding our average daily water storage. During times of water emergency, our supply of water "on-hand" will be increased. Additionally, during peak demand times, we will have a steady and reliable supply of water.
Water Intake Improvements – The intake is the pipe which allows water to flow into the Water plant. Our emergency intake needs to be extended out into the Bay due to the continuing lower Lake water levels. This will ensure that we can continue to get water into the plant, through our system and into your home.
Chemical Feed Improvements – The chemical feed improvements will help eliminate the zebra mussels in the plant. Additionally, equipment is being installed to control taste and odor problems created by algae blooms which are now present in Lake Erie.
SCADA Improvements – These improvements will automate our Water plant’s Distribution system and allow much of the monitoring and testing to be done by computer. In the long run, these improvements will save the City money.
60-Year Water Master Plan – This plan will be prepared by a licensed engineering firm and will ensure that the City of Sandusky will continue moving forward for many years to come.
Preliminary Treatment Renovation/Improvement – Many pieces of equipment are obsolete and need to be replaced because parts are no longer available for them. We occasionally are forced to shut down one piece of equipment to repair another which cuts our flow capacity in half.
Cedar Point Wastewater Pumping Station, Gravity Sewer & Forcemain Replacement – This pump station is outdated and no longer in compliance with OSHA laws. The force main is the device by which sewage is forced by pump to the plant for processing and is overdue for replacement.
Wastewater Pumping Station SCADA Project – This project will allow us to remotely monitor each of our lift stations. Any alarm which comes in will then allow us to see (from the plant) not only where there is a problem, but the exact nature of it so that we can better attack the problem. This will also allow monitoring to take place directly from our plant which is necessary due to federal EPA regulations.
Anaerobic Digester Renovation Project – A new primary digester is needed to allow more capacity for sludge as new regulations require that sludge be held for a specific length of time; currently we are barely able to meet this requirement.
Combined Sewer Overflow Monitoring Project – This project is part of a consent order from the Attorney General which we are under. This project would allow us to monitor CSO stations by a flow meter which will allow us to cut down on the amounts of flow entering Sandusky Bay during peak periods.
Additional Treatment Capacity – During and subsequent to this improvement program, additional treatment facilities will be constructed. These facilities will give us better capabilities to maintain all equipment and give us the capacity to treat future anticipated flows.
The City of Sandusky is very conscientious about providing safe drinking water to our customers from our Water Treatment Plant. All of our customers should be aware of the daily measures we take to ensure that we are providing the best water to you at the lowest possible price. Technology has allowed us to understand that certain microorganisms can be present in drinking water; thus our very strong commitment to providing safe drinking water.
We also are making efforts to continue processing sewage at our Wastewater Treatment Plant in the safest and most economical manner. These two utilities remain operational, but major changes must be made to carry on the level of service to which we have all become accustomed.
Sandusky’s Water Treatment Plant was built in 1940. At that time, it served approximately 5,000 customers. Since its original construction, the plant has merely been "improved" through replacement of certain equipment; we have more than doubled our customer base and desperately need to make major renovation to both plants. Currently, Sandusky’s Water Treatment Plant serves approximately 10,500 customers within the City limits, in addition to approximately 7,350 others in surrounding communities.
The wastewater treatment plant was built in the early 1950’s and improvements were made to it in the late 1970’s. These improvements had a 20-year design length.
Sandusky administrators have recently looked very seriously into both of these operations and have established a long-range plan for upgrading both facilities (see front panel).
Over the next three-year period, Sandusky’s water and sewer customers will see rate increases which will be utilized specifically for upgrades to both the water and wastewater treatment plants. What does this mean to the average resident?
Currently, an average homeowner pays approximately $29 per month for the City to provide water and sewer services in their home. A 35% increase (effective March 1, 2001) in these costs will amount to a monthly bill of approximately $39. In 2002, a 30% increase would amount to a monthly cost of $51; and in 2003, this rate would become $64.
Our water and sewer operations are currently able to meet the demands placed upon them. Up to 19 Million Gallons per Day (MGD) can flow into the water treatment plant from the intake pipe. During peak demand periods in the past, we have processed up to 17 MGD. However, the continued growth in Sandusky and Erie County will not allow us to continue to be able to satisfy this demand. We must spend money to upgrade both facilities so that we can continue providing water and sewer service to our customers.
In the past, the City has been successful in obtaining low-interest funding for capital improvements through the Ohio Water Development Authority. We utilized low-interest loans through OWDA for the construction of a new water line, improvements and replacement of a lift station, construction of a disinfection facility, and for the preliminary and rehabilitation phases of the combined sewer overflow improvements.
It is possible for the City to once again tap into these available dollars for the necessary upcoming improvements to both our water and wastewater plants which will be a cost savings.
City of Sandusky water and sewer customers must realize that the mentioned improvements are necessary to continue providing water and sewer service. We are available to provide additional information specific to any project in our water and sewer operations. We encourage you to become interested and involved in knowing about the water and sewer services which the City provides. For further information, please contact the City Engineering Department at 419.627.5829. For additional information, you may contact our Director of Water Services, Doug Keller at 419.627.5805.