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Water hook-ups get more costly, complex

BUCKEYE LAKE – Connecting to Buckeye Lake Village’s new water distribution system is going to be more complicated and expensive than village officials originally thought.

Somehow village officials totally overlooked the Licking County Health Department and its plumbing regulations. That means residential property owners will have to purchase a $75 permit from the health department to connect to the new water system. Commercial property owners will have to purchase a $220 permit from the department.

If a residential property owner plans to seal their well, they must purchase a $15 permit from the health department. If it is a shared well, the permit costs $20. The actual work must be done by a private water system contractor registered with the Ohio Department of Health. Currently there are 15 registered contractors in Licking County and eight in Fairfield County. Commercial property owners must discuss well sealing with Ohio EPA.

Residential property owners may do their own connection work if they submit an affidavit of ownership and residency to the health department. If a contractor is doing the connection work that firm or person must be registered with the health department and provide a certificate of insurance for $100,000 for injury and property damage. Some of the contractors on the original list maintained at the village office were not registered with the health department. A list of the plumbing contractors registered with the health department is now available at the village office. All commercial connections must be done by a licensed and registered plumber.

All permit and affidavit forms are available at the Buckeye Lake Village offices and the Licking County Health Department office at 675 Price Road in Newark. Permit applications, fees, and affidavits can be mailed with payment or applications can be faxed and fees paid by Visa or MasterCard to LCHD at (740) 349-6935.

The health department regulations also require residential connections to have minimum backflow prevention at the meter pit. Commercial connections will have testable valves in accordance with the state plumbing code. Those planning to keep their existing wells in addition to connecting are required to have reduced pressure zone valves. and must install a backflow preventor. That won’t require a health department permit and it will be up to the village to set the rules for annual inspections and fees. However, testing must be done by a certified backflow tester as determined by the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Industrial Compliance.

The health department is requiring all connections to install an expansion tank on the cold water line ahead of the water heater in accordance with the Ohio Plumbing Code and sized appropriately for the water heater; the expansion tank captures any overflow from the water heater. Tanks cost about $25 plus installation.

Buckeye Lake Water Tech Toby Miller said the bottom line is residents can expect to pay about $125 per connection more than what was originally expected when the price of the expansion tank and the county’s permits are included.

Miller will continue to inspect the installation of the connection line to the water main in the street. Specifically he will determine whether the trench depth is at least 36 inches, the pipe is SDR-9 or equivalent and that any backfill around the meter box has been replaced if disturbed. One of the health department’s three plumbing inspectors will inspect the connection to the existing plumbing in the structure.

“The service line and meter pit outside will be the responsibility of the (Buckeye Lake) water department and the plumbing inside will be ours, ” said Lonnie Taylor, the Licking County Health Department’s chief plumbing inspector.

Licking County Health Department Plumbing Inspector Jay Litten said county inspectors will work closely with the village to ensure inspections are made in a timely manner.

Miller said the near recordsetting snowfall has pushed back water availability for Buckeye Lake customers to May 1. “The snow was killing us,” he said.

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