Del-Co Water Inc. has completed a master plan that’s determined the company will double the number of customer connections over the next 20 to 25 years, according to general manager Glenn Marzluf.
Marzluf was the guest speaker at the Delaware Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon on Thursday.
“We’re going to go from 45,000 connections to 90,000 connections,” he said. “We have enough water available to us. Either we have it today or we own the rights to, for this period of time; but after that, we’ve got to go out and find more source water.
“Something that is certainly on our agenda is to do the best we can with the supply we already have, so that we can continue to grow beyond that 20- to 25-year period.”
Marzluf spoke to chamber members about a variety of topics, ranging from the history of water distribution and treatment to issues related to water quality and the future of water service.
Marzluf said Del-Co Water has been engaged in several projects to help improve future service and quality. He said that in 2013 Del-Co and the city of Columbus completed a joint project that resulted in the creation of the John R. Doutt Upground Reservoir, which is located in Thompson Township. The reservoir holds nearly 10 billion gallons of water and cost $170 million to build. Del-Co retains 15 percent ownership of the reservoir.
Del-Co, Marzluf said, is currently working on a new source water intake facility near the Home Road bridge that will pump water from the Scioto River to the existing Olentangy plant. That project is currently in the bid process.
The company is also studying ways to improve its Olentangy plant and is planning to build two new pipelines, one at Olentangy and the other at the Alum Creek plant.
Marzluf noted that the water industry has become headline news in recent years as concerns about clean water have arisen in some areas affected by chemical spills, such as the 2014 incident on the Elk River in West Virginia, and the ongoing drought in California. He said a wide range of factors will affect the water industry on a global scale in the near future, including continued population growth, climate change, watershed and source water protection and failing infrastructure.
“Urbanization is going on worldwide, but certainly in the United States,” he said. “What we’ve generally been seeing, what the climate models tell us, is that hotter, dry places are going to become even hotter and more dry. That’s a double-edged sword, because there’s less source water to begin with, because it’s not raining as much. And when it’s hotter and drier, there’s a higher demand for people to use water in those areas.”
“It’s great to see a crowd come out to hear about water,” Marzluf told the audience gathered at SourcePoint. “Not all of you work in the water industry; in fact, very few of you do, so it’s really great to talk about water industry issues with folks who aren’t in the industry itself.”