Arsenic contamination brings new water line
by Spencer Remoquillo, originally posted on December 20, 2016
VIOLET TOWNSHIP – A new water line is being constructed along Allen Road to run service to customers, including the Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities Pickerington Regional Office where well water was reportedly contaminated with arsenic.
High arsenic levels were detected in the well water earlier this year affecting dozens of residents and prompting Fairfield DD to provide bottled water to employees. In March the Fairfield County Board of Commissioners expressed interest in running a water line to service the office, along with other homeowners possibly experiencing arsenic contamination in their well water.
Fairfield County Utilities Director Tony Vogel said there is still work to be done, but the Fairfield DD office, 7140 Reynoldsburg-Baltimore Road NW, was tied into the water line on Monday.
“Fairfield DD is very pleased with the way Fairfield County Utilities handled our situation,” said Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities Superintendent John Pekar. “Everyone worked so well together. From obtaining a grant from the EPA to an impressive response time, their dedication to this project has been phenomenal.”
The new line will run service along Allen Road from Stemen Road to Ohio 256 and homes along Stemen Road from Pickerington Road to Huntington Way.
The county funded the $2.6 million project using a loan from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The loan provides 50 percent principal forgiveness for a grant with no interest.
Vogel said 60 residences requested connection to the water line and benefitted from the funding.
“With the EPA’s funding, they funded to bring the line to their house,” Vogel explained. “(Residents) paid 50 percent less to do it.”
Many of the area residents, Vogel said also reported high levels of arsenic at their home. He said everyone in the area opted to connect into the line.
The project affected about four miles of road.
The plan is also to interconnect the county’s line to the city of Pickerington to have water available “If they need water off us or if we need water off them,” Vogel said.