Understanding Putnam water/ sewer provision

Michael Siefker - For The Lima News

A 6119 district, such as that being discussed in Putnam County, is a local option for water and/or sewer provision for areas which are not already being served by a municipality. It can also be an option for homeowners who will need to install an expensive system in the future, as new rules come down concerning septic systems.

Why a 6119

Below are reasons for forming this district:

• For the sharing of services, equipment and manpower between participating entities.

• To deal with current sewer problems in the county i.e. Miller City, Pike Run, Dupont and others.

• Because of coming 0peration maintenance and monitoring of septic systems statewide.

• At least one county commissioner stated that they wanted out of the 6117 water and sewer business. Also stated was that they did not have the time nor the expertise to deal with these issues. The fact that all three commissioners did sign the application for the grant to form a 6119 and entered a contract for the legal work with Spitler Huffman indicates a perception of need.

• A $100,000 study by Bow;ing Green StateUniversity stated that a 50 percent failure rate of septic systems will likely occur in the next 10 to 20 years. The study also recommended regionalization.

• To keep local control of this 6119, including: the rates for service, keeping for-profit companies out and to prevent the formation under outside 6119s from coming into the area.

6119 FACTS

• The governing board to oversee operations is local and locally chosen by township trustees and village mayors and can be removed for misconduct.

• The role of the board includes proving for planning of projects, helping to find funding for such projects, setting rates and keeping them as low as possible.

• The draft of the by-laws will be reviewed and finalized by the petitioning townships and villages.

• This is an as-needed, project-driven district; lines will not be run down every road.

• State law states that farm land frontage is exempt of footage fees.

• The State and local Health Departments make and enforce all tap-in-rules.

• It is formed to benefit the unincorporated areas of the county and the incorporated areas that so choose to participate; unlike under the current 6117.

• There is no know budget nor set rates at this time because there is no known number of participants of people or businesses that will need to be provided for nor the number of villages who may be willing to sell their services to the board or whether any new construction will need to occur based upon these two points. The cost is not borne by the whole county but only by those who become part of the system.


• With water lines already running from Ottawa to Bluffton, Ottawa to Miller City, water and sewer lines from Ottawa to Glandorf and new lines being proposed in the area, regionalization has already begun.

• In November of 2015 Congress passed The Algal Risk Assessment and Management Strategic Plan for Drinking Water. This law will require more stringent limits and testing of drinking water across the country. It also requires the development and placement of sensors into area streams to track source water problems or pollutants to their source. Some of the updates at the Ottawa Treatment Plant are due to this law and will further place our other area streams under closer scrutiny.

• The State of Ohio Department of Health is now pushing harder on the operation maintenance and monitoring of septic systems and the Putnam County Health Dept. has to form a plan to implement this rule.

• The Village of McComb is tying into the Northwest Regional District for a second source of water demonstrating that outside districts are making inroads into the area as need arises.

• Because within the county there are two villages under findings and orders from the EPA, four other areas under EPA Watch and others being looked at for problems, it seems to us that the best way to address these issues is together under a locally controlled 6119.

Michael Siefker

For The Lima News

David Beckett, Ricky L. Fricke and Robert A. Riepenhoff contributed to this report

David Beckett, Ricky L. Fricke and Robert A. Riepenhoff contributed to this report

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