PT renews permit to control water pollution

Representatives with the Franklin County Board of Health and the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District came to the July 22 Pleasant Township Board of Trustees meeting to discuss a renewal of a permit for the area.

Every five years, the township enters into the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program, which controls water pollution by regulating point sources (discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches) that discharge pollutants into the water.

One of the reasons why the NPDES permit program is important to the area is because many of the township’s residents have their own sewer and water services, such as wells for water and aerators for sewage.

"Much of the area is country, so we don’t all get city sewer and water privileges," said Pleasant Township Chairman Keith Goldhardt.

Goldhardt said the Timberlake area has both sewer and water services; Darbydale has sewer access, but uses their own wells for water and Harrisburg is approximately two years away from receiving them.

He estimated it would take the Georgesville area 10 years to have their sewer lines put into place, mainly because they are so far away from existing lines. He said the price of that project would be "extremely costly."

Because much of the township uses aerators in place of those sewer lines, the NPDES recommends they test their water twice a year, but only if the system fails.

"As long as they are in working order, you don’t have to do anything," said Paul Wenning, with the Franklin County Board of Health.

Wenning said they, along with the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District have been mapping the Darby Watershed and are working their way south of the area.

"We were put through the ringer a month ago when the Ohio EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) said the Columbus Metro Parks have to be included in our inventory, so we’re slowly working our way up the tributaries and testing as we go," he said.

In order to have NPDES permit approval, the township has to agree to six measures. They include public education and outreach; public involvement; illicit discharge and pollution prevention; good housekeeping; construction and post construction.

"There have not been too many differences from the draft of five years ago," said Emily

Weber, assistant director for the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District. "But we want you to be able to reach 50 percent of the population through education."

She said that could be achieved by passing out flyers throughout the township, adopting education programs for businesses, and giving community presentations about the impacts of storm water discharges on water bodies and the steps the public can take to reduce the pollutants in storm water runoff.

She also added the township should introduce procedures for the proper disposal of chemical and petroleum based waste materials, such as legally disposing of and

documenting the materials.

Goldhardt said the township already does that when they hold their clean-up day where residents can safely dispose of unwanted materials twice a year.

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