The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency notified the city of a “significant deficiency” at the plant on Sept. 28, 2020. According to a letter from the Ohio EPA, the city reported a chlorine pump and a high service pump were inoperable. In a letter, the city disputed the violation, saying they should not have been given a violation for something they reported to seek guidance and the EPA did not independently verify.
To make the plant fully operational, the city would have to rebuild the plant entirely, Schommer said in September. That decision would have cost the city millions of dollars. The city is now asking for bids of less than $300,000 to demolish the plant.
The city did not pay a fine for the violation, Schommer said. They are working to resolve the problem and expect the violation to go away after the demolition is completed and paperwork is submitted to the EPA, he said.
Huber Heights has its own water supply and the Needmore Road water plant was a backup, according to the city. The city hadn’t been relying on the Needmore Road plant for several years. Schommer said the primary water plant on Rip Rap Road is more than adequate for the city’s needs.
Dismantling the water plant will not interfere with any Huber Heights residents’ access to water since the city has not been using that water plant for several months. Contamination is also unlikely, Schommer said, since the plant is no longer connected to the city’s water supply.
During last week’s city council work session, councilman Richard Shaw asked city engineer Russell Bergman if he was concerned about the cost of any remediation, since the water plant is older. Bergman said the cost of any remediation should be covered in the bid.
Schommer said much of the cost of tearing down the plant would be for hydraulic fluids for the control valves.
The city is also planning on several other water and sewer upgrades around the city in 2021. The city is currently sending out bids for the water and sewer line upgrades.