Drop in the bucket

County gets poor response to water survey


Staff writer

WARREN — More than 63 percent of the 3,437 property owners mailed a survey gauging their interest in obtaining county water in Bazetta, Champion, Bristol and Mecca in November didn’t bother to return the survey.

Of the 1,244 who did respond, 41 percent said they would connect immediately or some time in the future, and 58 percent had no interest, according to survey results provided by Gary Newbrough, Trumbull County deputy sanitary engineer.

Newbrough said he conducted the North Central Trumbull County Waterline Initiative survey because he was told there was “a lot of interest” in obtaining county water in the townships, and he was disappointed with the results.

“This was not the response we expected,” Newbrough said.

And, there are no definite large pockets of support for any future projects — interest, disinterest and a failure to respond was spread throughout the survey area — so it will be difficult to suss out routes that show enough interest in connecting to pursue a project, Newbrough said.

But, he is going to study the data and look for routes that could service the most interested property owners. It appears parts of Southington that weren’t covered by a large waterline project that was just completed may have the highest concentration of interest.

Newbrough said he was surprised more property owners on state Route 45 weren’t interested.

Many in the area use wells or cisterns for water.

Property owners would have to pay the costs to properly abandon their existing water source, including a $55 water sealing permit through the Trumbull County Combined Health District. The cost of the construction of line from the curb box to the structure will vary from household to household, but a permit connection would cost $339, unless the structure is more than 200 feet from where the curb box is installed, then the price rises to $2,200, according to the survey.

Existing customers in the Champion-Bazetta Public Water System pay $9.53 per 1,000 gallons. A household that uses an average of 4,000 gallons of water per month would pay about $38 for the water, plus the $35 capital charge, which was explained in the letter accompanying the survey.

Newbrough said the cost is pretty low for a monthly utility bill, and after 30 years, the capital charge would be eliminated.

In November, Newbrough estimated that any project will require an average of 40 service connections per mile.

By the numbers

Responses to the North Central Trumbull County Waterline Initiative survey

354 would plan to connect within 90 days of completion

167 want a curb box with the option to connect in the future

486 expressed no interest (developed parcel)

237 expressed no interest (vacant parcel)

1,662 gave no response (developed parcel)

531 no response (vacant parcel)

SOURCE: Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer’s Office