EPA okays new discharge rates in Mt. Sterling

(Posted Dec. 15, 2016)

By Amanda Ensinger, Staff Writer

Mount Sterling village council approved adjustments to its sewer regulations at its Dec. 12 meeting.

“This resolution will upgrade the sewer discharge rates based on new scientific research,” said Mayor Lowell Anderson.

According to John Martin, village administrator, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advised the village they could increase discharge rates without a negative effect on the environment.

“We needed to revise our levels because Keihin (Thermal Technology of America) was outputting higher levels of zinc than our original ordinance allowed for as a result of the galvanizing and plating they do,” Martin said of the manufacturing company. “We spoke to the EPA about this, and they advised us of the new levels we could incorporate into the modified ordinance.”

The new discharge levels are still well below the maximum allowed, and Keihin knows they cannot go beyond them.

“They are very environmentally con-scious and are good neighbors, so they know they must stay within these levels,” Martin said. “The EPA will also continue to monitor this each month and give us our monthly levels, so a lot of people will be watching this.”

In other business, Anderson reported that the village collected $672,000 in taxes in 2016, compared to $572,000 in 2015.

“That is $100,000 more in 2016 and a 17 percent increase,” he said.

In an update on the water meter replacement project, Martin reported he has 187 left to install and hopes to have the project complete by spring 2017.

“We had to replace 778 meters, so we have been working on this project for several years,” he said. “We are excited to see that it will be wrapping up in 2017.”

Updated meters allow the village to reduce the amount of non-revenue water. Currently, about 31 percent of water used in the village is non-revenue or non-billable.

“There are many reasons for this, including water used in village buildings, water used by the fire department and meters that are outdated and not billing people properly,” Martin said.

As the village has replaced the meters, they have found that many were not working properly. The new meters mean more accurate readings and, therefore, higher bills for some residents.

“We are seeing a jump in billed water and seeing a decrease in non-billable water, which is great for the village,” Martin said.

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