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Greenbriar Water Utility Meeting Set, Questions Answered

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR

August 17, 2017

Dear Greenbrier Subdivision Resident:

I am writing to invite you to a Utilities Committee meeting on Wednesday, August 23rd at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers at 21 West Washington Street to discuss any concerns about your drinking water. The Village is meeting with several industry experts this week and will provide an update on progress at the meeting next week.

I also want to address various points raised by Mr. Nerone in his August 14, 2017 letter to Council. While this letter is largely factual it is also somewhat misleading . A series of questions and answers below are intended to address some of the misunderstanding of the water system.

As background, the Franklin Street wells have served the Village since the 1960s. They are a very high quality groundwater source and were the sole supply of the entire Village up until 1987 when the Village connected to the City of Cleveland to satisfy increased peak demand for water as a result of an increase in the population served. The Franklin Street wells pump into the distribution system at the corner of Somerset and Hawthorne Drives and Cleveland water is pumped into the system at Solon Road and Greenbrier. When the wells are running, which is the majority of the time, the Greenbrier Subdivision is receiving Chagrin well water only.

While we recognize that there is currently an issue with discolored water in the Greenbrier area, there is no history ofreported discolored water problems in Greenbrier or Village wide either before or after the connection to Cleveland water. All water systems have aesthetic problems from discolored water from time to time but you should not see discolored water on a regular basis. Discolored water is typically caused by changes in the flow rates, water main breaks or hydrant flushing. It is our understanding that in the past four years the residents of the Greenbrier Subdivision have noticed more incidents of discolored water and since this was first brought to our attention in January 2017 we have been and are working to minimize this as much as possible.

Is the water from the Franklin Street wells safe?

Yes. The water is safe to drink and is well within all of the strict EPA regulations for drinking water. The aesthetic discolored water issue raised by Mr. Nerone related only to color and the naturally occurring iron in the source water from the Franklin Street wells. Dissolved iron is colorless but can react with oxygen in the distribution system to form iron oxide or rust and cause discolored water.

Is the Franklin Street well water iron level “very high”?

No. The water industry and EPA do not consider concentrations less than 300 parts per billion (ppb) to be a “very high” iron level. Any amount of soluble iron below 300ppb is considered low. The last test result of the Franklin Street well water was 290 ppb. Historic test results show the wells have ranged between 210ppb and 290ppb. It is simply not accurate to characterize the iron content of the wells as “very high”.

 

Is Cleveland water extensively treated and Chagrin water untreated?

Cleveland water has to be extensively treated as necessitated by the relatively poor quality of the source water and to meet the EPA Surface Water Treatment Rules. Lake Erie is subject to all forms of environmental pollution including air pollution fallout, storm water runoff, septic and wastewater treatment plant discharges, algae blooms, open water dumping, and dead zone influence. All these contaminants in the raw water must be removed before it can be distributed to customers. Chagrin Falls has deep wells that are protected by a 230 foot layer of clay overburden. The well water can be safely consumed with no treatment although EPA requires chlorination as a safety factor. This type of well water is routinely sold at a high premium by the bottled water industry as artisan spring water. The Chagrin Falls Water Department and Cleveland Water are subject to the same regulations for consumer tap water quality. Chagrin is much less regulated on the treatment side because ground water is inherently of much higher quality than surface water.

 

Does Chagrin treat the water for iron?

Yes. The Village does treat the well water for iron with a polyphosphate and orthophosphate blend. Chagrin follows the water industry standard and Ten States Standards (plant design standards), which provide for sequestration with polyphosphate as the prescribed treatment up to 500 ppb. Additional treatment is not indicated by the low iron content of the water.

 

Is there fluoride in Chagrin well water?

Yes. Fluoride is a naturally occurring element in ground water and the concentration of fluoride is 0.25 parts per million (ppm) in the Franklin Street well water. Chagrin does not add additional fluoride to its well water. Fluoride is also a regulated contaminant and water systems may not exceed a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 4.0 ppm. The EPA also has an advisory secondary standard of 2.0ppm to protect children from tooth discoloration. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends an optimal level of 0.7ppm for dental health. The Village well water is well below the secondary standard and contains 35% of the current DHHS recommendation.

Fluoridation of drinking water remains a controversial subject despite its history of use in this country because excess fluoride can have adverse health consequences. Recent studies have lent support to the opposition and calls for lower levels of fluoride in drinking water. Today most people are exposed to fluoride from sources other than drinking water including dental products, food and beverages. For more information see this Scientific American article and this EPA fact sheet.

 

What is the Village doing about the recent discolored water complaints?

In the near term we are working to resolve the recent discolored water problem by working with our chemical supplier to adjust dosages or phosphate blends as may be necessary. In addition, the capital plan approved by Council last fall includes replacement of the transmission line from the Franklin Street well field in 2018 in conjunction with the resurfacing of the roads in Greenbrier. The transmission line will be extended through the Greenbrier Subdivision to Solon Road where it will mix directly with Cleveland water. When this project is completed all customers will receive a homogeneous blend of Cleveland and Chagrin water.

 

Sewer Jetting Begins On May 22nd

The Village Utilities Department will be jetting all the main line sewers in the village starting next week.

This will go through June.

Please contact the Village Utilities Department at 440-247-5050 with any questions.

 

Spring Hydrant Flushing Underway

All fire hydrants in the Village of Chagrin Falls will be tested and flushed during the month s of April and May.

Starting the week of April 3, flushing of hydrants will be done on; Solon Road, Chagrin Valley Trails subdivision, Nob Hill, Monticello, Carriage Stone, Olive, Hall, Hawthorne, Somerset, Greenbrier-Greenhaven.

During the week of April 10, hydrants will be flushed on; Maple, Center, Walnut, Church, Water, West Washington, South Franklin, Cedar, South Street, Bellview, Bradley, Pine, and Oak.

During the week of April 17, hydrants will be flushed on; South Main, Elm Court, May Court, and Village Circle Drive, Miles Road, Winding River Dr., North Fork subdivision, Orchard, Meadow Lane, Bramley Ct., Hillside, West Orange, River Street, West Street, West Summit, Solether Lane, West Cottage, Chagrin Boulevard, Bentleyville Road, Old Plank, Skyline, Canyon.

During the week of April 24, hydrants will be flushed on; North Main (including the Township), East Orange, East Cottage, East Summit, Falls Walk, Stanridge, Lyndale, Locust Lane, Timberidge, Kenton Road, North Street, High Street, North Cleveland, Willow, Falls Road, Stonecreek, Applebrook (including the Township), Coy Lane, High Court, Scarsdale Lane, Hunting Lane, Longwood Drive, Edgewood Court, and Wilding Chase.

During the week of May 1, hydrants will be flushed on; East Washington Street, Pheasant Run Subdivision, Senlac Hills Drive, Hastings Lane, Heather Court, Tartan Court, Highland Lane, Bell Street from Village limits-east, Fairview, Hazelwood, Sylvan, Mapleridge, Birchmont, Woodside Road, Fernwood, Blackford, Laurel, and Clarion, Philomethian Street, Shopping Plaza.

During the week of May 8, hydrants will be flushed on; Ridgewood, Bell Street, Bell Tower, Carriage Hill, Hamlet, Vincent, Columbus, American, Walters, Hickory Hill, Cleveland Street, Village Commons.

Fire hydrants will not be operated before 8:00 a.m. of each day. All immediate areas will notice a drop in pressure while hydrants are operated. Some discolored water will be noticed. It is advisable to do any clothes washing before the time that the crews are in your neighborhood. The water should clear up within 3 or 4 hours after flushing. Occasionally it does take longer. If anyone is in doubt about washing clothes on any particular day, please call the Water Department office at 247-5050 for further information.

 

FAQ Sheet For Residents That Have Opted-In To NOPEC

 nopec-copy

Please note:  The Village of Chagrin Falls is a member of NOPEC so our residents are able to join NOPEC, BUT each resident chooses whether they would like to be a part of the aggregate or not.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About NOPEC’s Electric Program

We are a NOPEC community. That means that the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC), a not- for-profit council of governments, serves us as an energy “aggregator,” negotiating better deals on electricity and natural gas. NOPEC customers in our community have been saving money through a deal for electricity service that NOPEC agreed to with First Energy Solutions, with residential customers saving 6 percent and commercial customers saving 4 percent on the generation portion of their electric bills, compared with what they would have been paying to a utility. In addition, NOPEC has been funding an additional 1 percent discount that shows on your residential bill as “NOPEC Customer Credit.”

First Energy Solutions recently chose to terminate its contract with NOPEC. NOPEC now is in active discussions with suppliers to provide electricity for customers in our community at a discounted rate.

Here’s a FAQ designed to answer your questions about your electricity supply. For more information, visit our website at www.nopecinfo.org/electricupdate. You may also call 855-639-8159.

What does this mean for me, the customer? Am I going to have electricity?
Yes. Your electricity will continue to flow. Throughout the process of finding a new supplier, there will be no disruption of service for NOPEC customers.

So, my electricity will definitely not be shut off?

Correct, your electricity will not be shut off. There will be no disruption of service for our NOPEC customers because of the changing of suppliers.
What should I, the customer, be doing?

You should do nothing. Your discounts through NOPEC’s current supplier will continue until January. NOPEC plans to have a sound and financially strong supplier under contract shortly, ready to deliver electricity to NOPEC customers at a favorable rate.
What happened?

FirstEnergy Solutions informed NOPEC on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016 that it was terminating its contract with NOPEC, effective January 2017.
What is NOPEC doing in response to this early termination?

NOPEC is currently in discussions with new suppliers to continue to provide electricity at a discounted rate for its customers. NOPEC over the past 15 years has saved customers about $250 million and added many other values that benefit our communities and customers.
What did the contract with FirstEnergy Solutions provide for me, and how will it change?

On Jan. 1, 2010, FirstEnergy Solutions entered into a nine-year contract with NOPEC to supply electricity to NOPEC customers. As a result of that deal, NOPEC residential customers saved 6 percent and commercial customers saved 4 percent on the generation portion of their electric bills, compared with what they would have been paying to a utility. In addition, NOPEC has funded an additional 1 percent discount that shows up on your electric bill as “NOPEC Customer Credit.”

NOPEC is focused on getting our customers an excellent, financially strong electricity supplier and a deal that will allow them to continue to experience the many benefits NOPEC has become known for delivering to our customers.

When NOPEC finds a new supplier to provide a discounted rate, what do I need to do to receive that rate?

You should do nothing. When NOPEC contracts with a new electricity supplier, NOPEC will send a new notice to you with an option for you to “opt-out.” If you are happy with the new rate, you do not need to do anything and your discount will automatically be applied to your bill. If you do not want to reap the benefits of NOPEC’s new rate, you can fill out the “opt-out” form and return it to NOPEC within 21 days of the mailing date. If you opt-out, you will return to the utility’s standard service offer.

For 15 years, the great majority of customers in NOPEC communities have signed up for NOPEC’s significant savings. NOPEC was started by communities like yours that recognized deregulation was an opportunity for a not-for-profit energy “aggregator” that could help communities negotiate better deals on electricity and natural gas.

It has worked for the roughly 500,000 NOPEC customers in 12 Northern Ohio counties who have saved money on their utility costs and gotten other benefits from NOPEC.

Nothing that has happened will change that.

For more information, visit our website at www.nopecinfo.org/electricupdate. You may also call 855- 639-8159.