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BWD board approves agreement with drilling supplier

December 21, 2012
Morning Journal News

WELLSVILLE - The Buckeye Water District Board of Trustees approved a one-year agreement to supply bulk water for use in the local shale gas industry at the board's final meeting of the year on Thursday morning.

BWD will sell treated water to Keystone Clearwater Solutions, a Hershey, Pa., based firm that "provides customized water transfer/frack support services and water supply/turnkey water intake construction/management for Marcellus & Utica Shale operators," according to the company website.

Though a contract has yet to be written, BWD board President Mike Ryan announced the terms of the agreement.

Keystone Clearwater will pay a bulk rate of $6.60 per thousand gallons for the first 30 million gallons used, with the expectation of higher usage. Beyond that, the company will pay a descending scale of $12, $10, $8 or $6 per thousand depending on the daily volume used. Under the agreement, Keystone Clearwater will pay all parts and supply costs for the installation of a transfer line near the Salineville sewage treatment plant on state Route 39, as well as a tap-in fee of $14,250. BWD will be responsible for the labor, which Ryan says will be performed by an outside contractor.

Treasurer Bob Wines sounded a cautiously positive note as he delivered the monthly and year-end fiscal reports. "For the end of the year, we will end up in the black. Not very far, but in the black," he said. This was despite a total $4,428,850 paid to the East Liverpool Water Department, including $1.5 million from Columbiana County Commissioners, to settle the long-standing breach of contract lawsuit between the city and BWD.

With income of $6,378,800 and $6,193,379 in expenses, the district ends 2012 with a balance of $185,421. Wines' report also showed revenues of $282,157 against expenses of $118,867, for a net income of $163,290 for November. He thanked all district staff and employees for their thriftiness in helping keep expenses low during the year.

Board member Gene McGaffick asked about higher-than-normal water loss rates that have been observed. The suspected source is a stretch of water line dating to the 1930s that runs through the area of Hibbets-Mill Road in Yellow Creek Township. The line runs under the nearby creek, making leak detection especially difficult. "When you get into older systems, you get into higher loss," district manager Al DeAngelis said.

According to DeAngelis, the normal loss rate for water treatment facilities is between 15 and 18 percent, whereas the BWD plant is suffering losses of 28 percent. The board is considering its options for pinpointing the source, including a draw-down on the district's tanks. "You know exactly how much water was in a tank and compare that to your gauges: what you made and what went out," office manager Gregg Stanley said.

In his district manager's report, DeAngelis stated that both surge protection units for the raw water pumps at the treatment plant were discovered to be out of order during a weekly inspection. Assistant district manager Todd Brown called the manufacturer and found that the failed units, which were installed when the plant was constructed in 2009, were covered by a 10-year warranty. Replacement units worth $4,900 each were delivered to the plant and have been installed.

The next BWD trustees meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, in council chambers at Wellsville Village Hall.

In other news:

* Litigation committee Chairman McGaffick announced a date of Jan. 24 for what he anticipates will be final settlement hearing before Common Pleas Court Judge C. Ashley Pike, asking for enforcement of the $5.9 million settlement reached with East Liverpool in July. For its part, attorneys for the city say East Liverpool is owed an additional $700,000 in interest.



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