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Ohio EPA Grant to Assist Winona Residents with Drinking Water Wells; Community Water System Slated for Decommission
Ohio EPA is giving a $220,000 grant to the Columbiana County Health District to assist homeowners in Winona with the installation of private wells. The community’s water system, which has had ongoing, expensive maintenance issues, will permanently cease operations later this year.
Winona Water Supply’s decision to decommission its water system and move customers to private wells follows numerous meetings and discussions with local officials and residents. Repairs to the system would have been cost prohibitive and the option to regionalize with other water systems would have been even more expensive.
“We appreciate the leadership and assistance of State Representative Tim Ginter. His help in bringing together village officials, the county, and Ohio EPA to find a creative solution to provide safe drinking water to Winona residents has been invaluable,” Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler said. “I am also grateful to Wesley Vins, Columbiana County Health Commissioner, for stepping up and helping to work with residents and administer our grant funds quickly.”
Although Ohio EPA generally encourages local water systems to regionalize their infrastructure and operations, in this case it was more economically practical for each property owner to have their own drinking water well. To prevent potential health concerns from the aging water system, the State of Ohio was able to provide financial assistance.
“This project has been of utmost priority to me and I was happy to work with such a great team to assist and assure the residents of Winona this task would be completed quickly,” said State Representative Tim Ginter. “Director Butler, his team and Wesley Vins went above and beyond my expectations. I am truly grateful for the long hours and strategic planning they invested in this project.”
Following an Ohio EPA model which directs the Agency’s principal forgiveness loans to county health departments to assist residents with failing home septic systems, depending on household income, homeowners may qualify for 50 to 100 percent of the total cost for the drilling and installation of the wells.
Winona residents who are presently customers of the community’s water system should contact the Columbiana County General Health District at (330) 424-0272 to plan for the transition to a private well and to discuss funding options.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.