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City Of Dayton, Montgomery County Clash Over Water Service

Tap water
Joe Cheng
Flickr Creative Commons

Montgomery County officials say the City of Dayton may be in breach of their water service contract, and it’s asking state regulators to mediate the dispute.

In a letter to the Ohio EPA, the county alleges the city hasn’t been open about its management of PFAS contamination in the water supply. Low levels of the man-made chemical have been found in Dayton’s water.

Montgomery County Director of Environmental Services Patrick Turnbull says while the water supply is safe, they need more information about the extent of the contamination.

“We want to understand what the science is telling them. What is the extent of the PFAS contamination in the well field and then how can be treated in the future. We want to understand those things. We had to get Ohio EPA involved so that we can actually sit down and share that information because the city of Dayton is unwilling to have that dialogue with us.”

City officials deny the allegations. At a press conference Monday, Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said the city has been “aggressive” in its management of the contamination.

County officials also called on the city to invest in generators to prevent the kind of widespread water outages seen twice this year. Dickstein says the city’s current backup power system is sufficient, and generators are not cost effective.

“What I would ask the ratepayers is are they interested in paying the additional increase in rate for us to put 15 million dollars into what would amount to 6 to 7 train engine size generators that could potentially never be used.”

Dickstein says the city is willing to meet with county representatives to discuss the dispute.