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Putnam PSD water customers paying higher rates to fund expansions

By Ryan Quinn, Staff writer

SCOTT DEPOT — The Putnam Public Service District’s roughly 9,200 water customers began paying higher rates Monday to fund a slate of projects.

The monthly bill for an average residential customer using about 4,000 gallons per month increased $1.81 to $31.23. The average bill for residential customers using 4,500 gallons per month increased $1.97 to $33.93.

Putnam PSD Communications Coordinator Scott Jones said the district is almost finished with about $3.95 million worth of construction on its 2012 Water Project. According to Jones, the project includes repainting and rehabilitating two water tanks, one holding 1.3 million gallons and the other 250,000 gallons; building a new 1.3 million-gallon tank that would increase potable water storage from 1.5 days to 2.5 days in the rare case the Scott Depot water treatment plant failed; installing about 3,000 new meters that don’t require readers to exit a vehicle to gauge a home’s water usage; and laying new water line along Winfield Road to connect a section of the system dead-ending near the end of Bills Creek Road with another section ending at the Scary Creek Industrial Park, near the John Amos power plant.

“In a water system like ours, especially with a lot of hills and roads, the more interconnections you have, the more loops like that, the better,” Jones said. “It’s good for water quality and it’s good for emergency preparedness.”

The 2012 Water Project also includes upgrades in the Marina Park area along Mount Vernon Road in Teays Valley, Jones said. He said the area has some of the oldest lines in the system, and many were in bad condition and behind mobile homes instead of out front where they’re easier to access. Jones said much of the district’s water passes through this area en route to other homes and businesses.

Also, on Thursday, the Putnam PSD’s board approved seeking engineering services to replace the Poca sewer plant’s existing drying bed, where water dries out from solid sewage, with a sludge press, which squeezes water out of sewage and allows the system to process sludge faster. Jones said Poca’s town council will pursue a Small Cities Block Grant to help fund the project.

The Putnam PSD was supposed to own Poca’s system starting July 1 after the town’s voters approved selling the system in February, but bondholders still must sign off on transferring the Poca system’s $1.8 million in debt to the district. Jones said the district is currently operating the town’s system under an agreement as if it owned it until the debt issue is resolved.

Reach Ryan Quinn at ryan.quinn@wvgazette.com, 304-348-1254 or follow @RyanEQuinn on Twitter.


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