Camden water fix is in the works

CAMDEN — The village of Camden could have a short-term fix for its water woes as early as next week assuming the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency approves technical details involving a tie-in to an alternative drinking water well.

Meanwhile, the village has asked for bids from contractors for an estimated $1.2 million project to connect its drinking water system to the Southwestern Regional Water District by late December.

The short-term plan, connecting to what is known as the Klapper Well, is still lacking state-approved engineering details including how the village will treat water for high iron content and which pumps will be used, OEPA spokeswoman Heather Lauer said. Once plans are approved, a process that could be very quick, the village would be ready to connect, Lauer said. Village administrator Sean Maloney said the connection could be made as early as Wednesday. Ultimately, the village could develop a new well field.

The village council has voted to raise water rates by $5 to help offset expenses related to the Southwestern tie-in, which would be eligible for a state grant. Two of three village wells are not usable because of contamination from large piles of road salt used during snow and ice season. A third well is going bad. Commodities giant Cargill owns one pile and Central Salt owns the other. Both are managed by Rod Good, president of Good Trucking.

Good said he didn’t realize the piles were located in the village’s well field when the salt began arriving in 2007 and 2008. He said the village council didn’t notify him and apparently didn’t realize the potential for problems. Good said he’ll fund the Klapper Well connection regardless.

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“I can’t tell you how bad we feel. We felt we were doing the right thing putting salt there for the safety of the state, counties and everyone in them,” he said. “These people are our friends. We don’t want to hurt anyone here. We want to help everyone.”

Mayor Gunter Sylvanis Jr. said it’s possible Good didn’t know about the potential for problems, but added that he believed the well field was well-known throughout the village. “I can’t answer for Rod Good and prior to me being on council. My personal opinion is everyone knows where the well field is. This is a small town.”

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