In the late 1950s, Wood County had minimal water and sewer facilities. Exceptions to this included larger cities like Fostoria, Bowling Green, Perrysburg, Rossford, Walbridge, and a small part of Northwood which had publicly owned water and sewer services.
In the early 1960s, development along Woodville Road resulted in Wood County building a wastewater treatment plant near Millbury. County sewers were also built in parts of Northwood and the edges of Perrysburg’s old corporate limits.
In 1966, Ohio Governor James Rhodes told Wood County they needed to provide water and sewer to the new Chrysler-Machinery facility in Perrysburg Township. This resulted in the construction of the E. Broadway pump station and a water tower on Oregon Road. Water mains to connect Toledo with Rossford were used as a temporary connection.
As subdivisions were built away from municipal areas. Developers built small wastewater treatment plants/collection systems in subdivisions such as Country Manor, Green Acres, Williamsburg, and Arlington Woods. The county assumed control of these locations once built.
In the 1970s in the northern part of Wood County, large sewers connected the Perrysburg wastewater treatment plant and Lucas County wastewater treatment plant. Sewers extended to Millbury from Oregon and sewers installed in Perrysburg Township were connected to Toledo (via Miami/Oakdale intersection). Water came to Northwood from Oregon at this time.
In the South, water was extended to Portage in 1976 from Bowling Green, as well as for some of the outside subdivisions. This was part of the early development of the water system as it extended in the north and south.
In the 1980s, NE Plant was abandoned and a new trunk sewer to Oregon was built. Most of the work being done was on the sewer side by the county and the water work was contracted to the cities.
Walbridge asked Wood County to assume control of their water and sewer systems during this time, too.
In 1991, water was extended to Rudolph and Arlington Woods from the City of Bowling Green. Master meter contracts were negotiated with the city’s administration. This expanded the Wood County water departments’ involvement with master-metered water purchases.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, projects such as bringing water and sewer service to the current I-280/Ohio Turnpike interchange in Lake Township and a project to bring water to the Wood County Landfill were underway. By this time, the county was serving about 5,500 water and sewer customers. with over 1,100 sewer-only customers. All of this was managed by the Wood County Sanitary Engineering Department under the County Commissioners’ control. Most of the billing and customer service tasks were handled by the cities of Toledo and Oregon.
It was about this time, with so many entities involved in water and sewer service, that discussions about forming a regional water and sewer district started. These talks were mainly initiated by the county and northern townships with Linda Amos, the County Administrator, and Jerry Greiner. The Board of County Commissioners at that time included Robert Latta, Marilyn Baker, and Leonard Stevens with strong support from the county’s townships especially, Lake and Perrysburg Townships.
After much study, it was decided to form the Wood County Regional Water and Sewer District under ORC 6119.
In December 1991-Judge Kurfess granted a preliminary order establishing a district and issued that a draft operations plan to be written to implement by May 18, 1992.
Nine county-wide board members, three appointed by the Wood County Commissioners, three appointed by the various townships, and three appointed by municipalities in Wood County, were involved in countless meetings to set up the regional water and sewer district.
On May 17, 1992, preliminary court-approved board members were tasked with a plan of operations (POO) due in 6 months.
On June 21, 1992, Judge Kurfess ordered this regional water and sewer district to be organized, decided on requirements for the plan of operations, and officially swore in the board.
On December 17, 1992, the court extended the time necessary to file the POO until May 18, 1993. Meantime, the county fended lawsuits from Toledo, Northwood, and Perrysburg on various utility and contract issues.
On March 17, 1993, a final order was established for the regional water and sewer which started operations in January 1994.
In 1995, the district finished its largest waterline assessment and revenue bond project in Lake Township and Northwood.
At the time, members included 14 townships and 3 municipalities including all of whom were considered part of this new district
Wood County transferred all water and sewer facilities to this new entity. It included water and sewer lines, pump stations, contracts, trucks, equipment, real estate, employees, and all debt ($8.3 m) to the Wood County Regional Water and Sewer District.
Our office operation was in a small space on the 3rd floor of the county office building and our field operations crew was at the Woodville Road operations area which was at our old abandoned wastewater treatment plant.
In 2000, we changed our name from the Wood County Regional Water & Sewer District to the Northwestern Water & Sewer. The Board felt this was more reflective of the area we were serving. So, our logo and our new name changed found their way into our vehicles and property.
During the mid-late 1990s, a number of merges occurred with municipalities such as Cygnet, Bloomdale, Weston, Hoytville, Rossford, and more. This added to our customer base, assets, and liabilities but few employees overall. It expanded our role in the region and honed our abilities to remain flexible and efficient in how we operate.
The introduction of the WaterShed, a water-vending machine was put together, that continues BLANK well today as well. Our 14th site opens in August during a time in which we will our revenue from these units will exceed $2 million! That’s a lot of quarters.
Between 2008 and 2010, discussions were ongoing with the City of Toledo, to purchase water on a master meter basis. Combined with the merges with the City of Rossford in 2011, we absorbed serving approx. 7,000 accounts with “retail” service. Due to that, we expanded our staff by an additional 10 employees and remodeled the main office operations area in 2013. The Toledo Algae BLANK opened in 2014, on August 2 when all Toledo Water was shut off for 3 days. Our management team spent 3 days managing that BLANK.
Additional merges occurred in the late 2010s when we absorbed McComb in Hancock County and the Henry County Water & Sewer District (including McClure and Okolona) during this time. The Board changed its bylaws to offer a 10th board seat from Henry County’s involvement as their commissioner brought with them those 12 townships of their county, as well as Providence Township in Lucas County. That move totaled our role in water and sanitary sewer services for 5 counties (Wood, Sandusky, Henry, Hancock, and Lucas).
- 2002 new facility which expanded in 2013
- Members-all townships (and part of Scott Township in Sandusky County and Providence Township in Lucas County.
- Now including 14 municipalities Bairdstown, Bloomdale, Custar, Cygnet, Hoytville, Jerry City, Millbury, Milton Center, Risingsun, Rossford, West Millgrove, Weston, McComb (Hancock County), and McClure (Henry County)