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Sistersville looks to Tyler County Public Service District as a means for possible water supply

By Staff | Apr 15, 2015

The City of Sistersville is shifting its focus to the Tyler County Public Service District as a possible source of water.

Sistersville is currently getting their water from the Ohio River through the use of the water plant that was built in 1885.

Because it was built so long ago and is using outdated technology, the city has been looking into a better means of getting water to Sistersville’s residents.

The city has been looking to Monroe County, Ohio, as a possible source, but is now switching its gaze. Because Monroe County’s water is not regulated in the same manner as public utilities in West Virginia, the city would need to get certification from a Public Service Commission. Also, Monroe County is reportedly not communicating in a consistent manner with Sistersville.

Sistersville has now turned its attention to the Tyler County Public Service District as a possible source for water into Sistersville.

The City of Sistersville has a deadline of 2016 to find an alternate source of water to the town.

It was calculated that a new water plant would cost $7.2 million. According to Mayor Bill Rice, they could probably get $3 million worth of revenue from bonds and grants, which means the other $4.2 million would come from taxpayers. “If you think the water bill is high now, they are gonna be outrageous.” commented Rice.

One of the first steps the city needs to take, said Rice, is to bring the water loss percentage down. It is currently high thanks to water leaks.

They are working to remedy that situation.

In an effort to explore Tyler County Public Service District as a means of getting water to the City of Sistersville a water board meeting was held March 27.

The City of Sistersville met with the Tyler County Public Service District along with the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council, S&S Engineers, and Cerrone and Associates to discuss the possibility of using the Tyler County PSD as a water source for Sistersville.

Sanghavi stated that the last time they met, which was a few years ago, he had looked at water consumption and at that point they needed around 300,000 per day.

However, the last calculation he did yielded a result that 200,000 would be more than enough based on average usage.

Upon talking about Monroe County, the city is under the impression that Monroe County is waiting to see what happens at the former Ormet site, they were Monroe County’s largest customer and they are uncertain as to how much excess capacity they will have in the future. They do not want to tie up the capacity if they will need to supply large volumes to Ormet again.

This will be a big step for Tyler County PSD because they will be embarking on running an extension to the southern part of the county, crossing the divide with Middlebourne.

While it is not a huge step, not hundreds of thousands of gallons, it will take some reserve from Davenport wells, where they would pull from for Sistersville. The storage capacity of Sistersville was also discussed, which was calculated at 600,000 gallons.

They also discussed the amount of overflow. Rice stated he would get the figures. “Anything you need, let me know and I will get the information that you need as quickly as I can,” said Rice.

Another topic of discussion was how to run the lines into Sistersville, whether to run lines underground or above ground.

If done underground, they would need to disconnect lines for a time, which would mean certain residents would be without water for a short amount of time and then when it was reconnected, there was the possibility of the sludge build-up running into homes.

It was agreed that once engineers from Cerrone Associates and S&S get figures, they would come back with them. Rice also agreed to get the information they needed, which includes overflow capacity, usage numbers, and water loss percentage.

The issue will be revisited at a later date, to be set.