WEST ALEXANDRIA — Preble County Commissioners met with the Glenwood Project work group on Wednesday, Oct. 14.
The group is currently in the process of searching for solutions for water contamination problems in the Glenwood area between Eaton and West Alexandria.
According to commissioners, the board recently received several Requests for Qualification offers (RFQs) for the initial phase of the project.
Sanitary Engineer Randy Gilbert stated during the meeting, he felt CDM provided the best combination of experience and knowledge to provide the best service for Phase 1 of the project.
Commissioner Chris Day explained RFQs allow the commissioners to send requests for qualifications for professional services. This allows the commissioners to select the offer providing the best solutions and then proceed to negotiate a price once a company is selected.
This is different than a bid process which often requires commissioners and other government entities to select the lowest bidder for the project. According to Day, the RFQs allow the commissioners to select a company based on qualifications and project needs instead of price.
Phase 1, according to Day, will be continued testing in the area to attempt to locate the source of contamination, hopefully resulting in finding one area responsible to avoid adding a new water treatment facility to the area.
According to Day, at this point in time everything is an “estimate” with regard to price, time frame, and the final solution, as more testing is needed in the area.
He explained it is important the county does its own testing in the area to bring in more samples to the project to help locate the source of the contamination. Locating the source of contamination and determining contributing factors has been the biggest challenge of the project according to Day.
According to Day, Phase 1 will need to be completed by the middle of next year, when the EPA is expecting the county to begin discussing a plan of action for the problem.
Once more testing is done Day said the county will enter Phase 2 of the project, which will be creating a plan of action.
Day also noted, the county is paying somewhere between $20,000 and $40,000 on the initial phase of the project, but will explore low-to-no interest loans, grants and other funding options for the final phase.
According to Day, after testing is completed commissioners will have a better idea on what the plan of action should be. He said it could range from fixing a few septic systems in the area if one source of contamination is discovered, to connecting the area to West Alexandria’s water treatment facility — or creating a new one in the Glenwood area if the contamination source is a “worst-case scenario” situation.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @aschmidt_RH.