LEIPSIC — Leipsic and Gilboa have jointly applied for a U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration grant for the purpose of providing a supplementary source of raw water to the Yellow Creek Reservoir by building an intake station on the Blanchard River and connecting it to the reservoir.
In 2007, Leipsic expanded a small reservoir once used for steam engine locomotives and installed a pumping station designed to take surface water from local ditches, said Justin Barnhart, Leipsic village administrator. This surface water is pumped into the reservoir and is used by local factories.
“We have the ability to pump 20 million gallons per day,” said Tony Schroeder, the reservoir pump station operator. “On average we can pump 5 to 10 million gallons per day, Mother Nature permitting.”
During a dry season the Yellow Creek Reservoir pump station will be set to a low water level setting and pump around 475,000-500,000 gallons of surface water from surrounding ditches per day, Schroeder said. The station runs on a computer program which tells the pumps when to run and on which setting, he said.
The reservoir holds around 450 million gallons of water when it’s full, Barnhart said. Twenty two feet of that water has to remain in the reservoir at all times to maintain balance, he said.
“We like to see it in the low 30s,” Schroeder said, adding the water is used by the local factories for process cooling.
The water level in the reservoir water level fluctuate depending on the weather and how much water factories need to use, he said.
That is why Leipsic is interested in building an intake station on the Blanchard River near Gilboa and running a water line directly into the reservoir, Barnhart said.
“This intake structure is more advanced then what we’ll have on the Blanchard,” he said. “It wouldn’t run constantly. We would use it when we needed it.”
Leipsic would be taking a small amount of water from the Blanchard River compared to the amount of water that runs through it on a daily basis, Barnhart said. There wouldn’t be any drop in water levels if the intake station was built, he said.
“(The reservoir) provides enough water,” Barnhart said. “This is about planning for the future.”
He would like to see more factories and businesses come to Leipsic, and when they do, more water will be needed, he said.
Gilboa is the co-signer for the grant application, Barnhart said. They co-signed because a lot of Gilboa citizens work in Leipsic.
“It’s an opportunity for Gilboa to have a good relationship with Leipsic for future projects,” said Michelle Clymer, Gilboa mayor.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362 and @Lima_Reynolds