East Logan Water District is considering getting into the wastewater business. Although plans at this time are tentative, the district wants to continue to be progressive and the next step may be to bring sewer to its customers.
According to Bill Stokes, chairman for the District, East Logan has gone as far as they can within its boundaries to bring water to its customers. Because the District is always looking to grow, the board feels it is time to move on to something else that will benefit the customers.
Stokes attended the Tuesday, March 12 Logan County Fiscal Court meeting, giving magistrates an overview of the District’s accomplishments and future plans. He said the District still plans to work towards putting in additional fire hydrants so fire departments do not have to travel so far to get their water, but for the most part, the district has done its job as far as water is concerned.
Stokes told the court that sewer service was in the idea stage only at this point, and that the board was getting more acquainted with the sewer business first before moving on.
“This has been an idea the board has tossed around for two years now,” said Stokes, adding that if the district decided to take the next step, the project would first begin with a pilot program involving only a few customers. Stokes also mentioned there was need for sewer in the Lake Malone area. He said there are 484 homes around the lake area and although that idea is also preliminary, this would be something East Logan would consider taking on.
East Logan Water District is well known for its progressive and pioneering outlook. The District was selected as the 2012 recipient of the prestigious “Wooden Bucket” Award last year. This outstanding award, given by the Kentucky Rural Water Association, is presented to a water and/or wastewater utility that has made substantial and lasting improvements in providing high levels of customer service and high quality drinking water and wastewater services in its community, including having shown exceptional efforts in meeting the needs of their communities, enhancing their operations, and complying with regulatory requirements.
The district touched on possibly providing sewer service in its 2013 newsletter The Pipeliner.
“When asked what business we are in, those associated with East Logan Water District will usually reply that we are in the water supply business. Although this is true, in many ways we are really in the public health business. While modern medicine rightly receives tremendous credit for the improvements in our health and life expectancy over the past 100 years, most experts agree that the improved sanitation made possible by advances in our drinking water supply and sewage disposal methods are at the root of our improved community health.
“When the East Logan Water District was formed in 1977, its mission was to supply safe, reliable and and affordable drinking water to homes and businesses within its service area. While there are still a few potential customers to be served with drinking water, that list has dwindled in recent years. There are two paths forward that we could choose from this point: 1) maintain the status quo and be content to provide quality drinking water service to our customers, or 2) look to the next public health concern for which we might offer solutions.
“East Logan is choosing the second option by investigating the possibility of offering sewer service. We will be conducting studies over the next several months to determine if there is sufficient need for this service in our area, and if so, how we might step up to fulfill that need.”
According to East Logan Water District Manager CK Hanks, 2012 was a very productive year for the District with the completion of the South Union area supply line that will enable them to have an adequate supply of water to furnish industrial needs in the area when it develops in the future.
“The $1.7 million dollar project was completed without any rate increase to the customers,” said Hanks. “We were also able to complete the installation of telemetry on our master meters, which gives us a much better view of the hourly water flows to the different areas, which allows us to respond to water leaks quicker. We have installed more connecting lines to eliminate dead ends, which also keep the outage times experienced to a minimum.”
Hanks agrees that with the District’s service area being almost completely covered with water lines, the board is taking the next step to serve the customers by studying the need for sewer lines.
“This is the option for us to help provide a vital service to our customers in the future,” said Hanks.