By Linda Dillman
Questions regarding water quality in Canal Winchester could be resolved within weeks pending approval by the EPA of a new treatment process.
Public Service Water Superintendent Gary Schmitt said his department was in the midst of a long-term study providing data on lead and copper in the water when a resident recently complained about discolored and odorous city water.
“In the past, we pretty much stood back to wait and see,” said Schmitt in making adjustments to the water flowing through city lines. “In the last couple of months, ‘wait and see’ came to a screeching halt.”
While the city is aware of problems with precipitate that forms primarily in hot water tanks and can cause spotting on dishes and glasses, Schmitt said issues involving discolored and smelly water need a quick response.
“The issue is we need to address that immediately,” said Schmitt. “We need to be told when it happens, not later, so I can dispatch a technician to go out. With the new corrosion control program, we hope to take care of those issues.”
Schmitt expects a three-week turnaround for EPA approval of the organic polyphosphate process, which involves adding two to three gallons of the chemical per day into the water treatment process.
Public Service Director Matt Peoples said the program will cost the city an additional $11,000 per year, but the infrastructure is already in place.
“In other communities, this has made a significant difference,” said Schmitt, “but it may take time.”
Schmitt asked for patience. He said there are different blends of chemicals for problems such as spotting, smell and discoloration and once the city gets approval from the EPA, it could take time to tweak the proper mix and work it into the system.
However, as soon as the agency gives the city the green light, the water department will spring into action.
Schmitt said, “We’ll have it installed and up and running within a week of approval.”