The City of Marietta will replace its water treatment plants

WTAP News @ 10
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 10:29 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - The City of Marietta will be replacing its older water treatment plants with a more modern plant.

It’s an effort to keep up with certain contaminants.

The City of Marietta currently has two water treatment plants that are at the end of their useful service life, according to City Engineer Joe Tucker.

“One of which was built in 1934. That’s plant number one. And plant number two was built in 1975,” he said.

In 2020 and 2021, the EPA ran tests, finding small amounts of contaminants in their water supply, according to Tucker. Traces of PFOS were of the contaminants.

Tucker said the levels weren’t high enough for officials to take action and that the water is safe to drink. However, the city is unaware of whether the contaminants are increasing or decreasing, due to limited data, according to Tucker.

He clarified that the tests were not done in response to any local event, rather it was a nationwide EPA initiative based on growing concern over contaminants like PFOS.

The city wants to make sure it’s up to date enough to handle possible changes.

Tucker said, “If either the action levels become more stringent or for some reason the contaminant levels go up, this new technology will give us the ability to deal with that and to handle those contaminants.”

When Tucker says “action levels” he is talking about the level contaminants have to reach for officials to be required to take action.

Tucker believes the new plant will be more reliable for the future and will be able to better handle certain contaminants, which the current plants don’t do much for.

The plan is to start building in April of 2023. Construction will take about two years.

Tucker said, “The city’s looking at a project that total construction costs with contingencies is roughly $30 million, which is a big expense for a small community like Marietta.”

According to Tucker, the city plans on spreading out payments over 30 years to make the cost more manageable.

Finances haven’t been finalized, but Tucker said officials are hoping to secure a 0% interest loan from the Ohio EPA.

“This is a very large project. In fact, I’ve been city engineer since 2005, and this is the - by far the largest project we’ve undertaken,” Tucker said.

The city hired an independent person to conduct a water rate study through Rural Communities Assistance Program, according to Tucker. The study looks into how to make the project affordable for the community as well as how locals can proactively take care of their water supply in terms of measures like maintenance.

Officials will discuss how your water rate could be impacted in a meeting Tuesday, October 11. The final study should be presented then.

The meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the second-floor conference room at 304 Putnam Street.