Bethesda Is A Small Community, Solving A Big Water Problem - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Bethesda Is A Small Community, Solving A Big Water Problem

Posted: Updated:

Almost half of Bethesda's water is lost to leaks.

And that's a lot of money--and resources--going down the drain.

So they broke ground on a multi-million dollar water improvement project that will benefit them at the faucets and at the fire hydrants.

Bethesda's current water system is so old, it's actually historic.

"Our water system now and our elevated storage tank was built in 1936 and was put in by WPA workers, the Work Progress Administration," said Dick Quinlin, water project coordinator.

These days, they say it leaks nearly as much waters as it delivers to the faucets.

"We've detected, through billing, about a 40% loss, which is tremendous," he noted.

Today's groundbreaking marked the kickoff of a year long $3.9 million water improvement project.

Because of tenacious and savvy work, they were able to get a no-interest loan.

"The Village of Bethesda was able to receive a zero percent 30-year loan, roughly about $4 million and also they received 40% principal forgiveness which is more or less a grant," said Nick Saunders of the Ohio EPA.

"And I'm so proud of the local community today," said Lou Gentile, state senator.

"I'm thrilled about this water project," said Ginny Favede, Belmont County Commission president. "This is five years of hard work on behalf of the officials of the Village of Bethesda."

The new system will streamline the job of reading the meters.

They say it currently takes a week and a half to complete the job.

When the new system is up and running, it will take only two hours.

But the most crucial improvement will be an increase in water for fighting fires.

They say it will be finished by this time next year, unless they run into sustained bad weather this winter.