The priority of the Lakengren Water Authority (LWA) has always been, and will continue to be, to provide reliable, economical and environmentally responsible water and sewer service to the people of Lakengren.
The LWA has started 2017 in good shape. Our current operating expenses are within the budget. The LWA’s Emergency Reserve fund is still sufficient to cover any short term requirements that may arise. We continue to build the fund to cover operating expenses for at least three quarters of a year should anything happen as a result of a weather event or other unforeseen occurrence.
Our water plant continues to produce excellent water. The replacement of well #2 has been completed. Well #4, as it is called, provides an adequate supply of water for now, by replacing well #2. However, it does not provide any surplus to accommodate future shortages occasioned by weather changes or increased demand.
On the wastewater side, the multi-year refurbishing of our four clarifiers will be concluded in the coming year. All parts are being replaced with stainless steel components to guarantee a long life. Creative staff work with a local fabricator has saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars now and will insure continued savings through reduced maintenance and upkeep costs in the future.
The Ohio EPA has issued to the LWA a five year permit to operate the wastewater treatment plant, but they have imposed more stringent requirements on our limits of ammonia levels the treatment plant can discharge into waterways. While our current discharge limits are considered very low, compliance with the new limits will require major improvements to our treatment facility. Our consultants have advised that we need make changes to our processes that will cost some $3.5 million to assure that the plant meets the new requirements. Along with lowered ammonia levels, we anticipate a new lower discharge limit on phosphorous in the future. Our consultants are addressing that issue as well. We would rather take care of both items at the same time, to minimize both costs and disruption to the plant. To fund the improvement project, we have applied for a $500,000 grant and a $3 million no-interest 30-year loan through the Ohio Public Works Commission. With this assistance, we believe that we can complete the improvement project without an increase in rates. More information will be provided as the project evolves over the next year.
Our E-billing software has been installed and completely operational. We continue to ask property owners to send us their email addresses to be a part of this long awaited program.
The LWA is a political subdivision governed by ORC 6119. The LWA Board of Trustees meets in open session on Friday mornings at 9:00 AM. If a customer has an issue with LWA BOT or with this report, and would like to meet with the Board, please call the office at 456-4455 between 8 AM and 4:30 PM Monday through Friday. The LWA’s web address is www.lakengrenh2o.org. Announcements and important information is located here.
As always, the LWA is working to provide the best possible water and wastewater service for the Lakengren community.
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Dave Thomas, Treasurer