Portsmouth officials discuss potential expansion of water system to South Shore

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 7:05 PM EST
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PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) - A potential expansion of Portsmouth’s water supply was discussed at Monday night’s City Council meeting. Portsmouth City Manager Sam Sutherland says officials in neighboring South Shore, Kentucky, have approached the city about servicing their water customers in the future.

“Portsmouth pulls its water from the river. In South Shore, they have wells, so they pull ground water,” Sutherland said.

He said the river is an abundant source, but ground water can become scarce.

“There’s always that risk that, if you go into a drought, you may not be able to pull water out of wells. If you can’t pull it out, you can’t treat it,” Sutherland said.

City leaders in Portsmouth have started looking into how an expansion of water service into South Shore might work. Sutherland believes the most efficient, as well as cost-effective option, would be to pump water through an underground pipe.

“The capacity is there. It would basically be a straight shot from our facility right over to just about where their well field is and in behind their facility,” Sutherland said.

Financially and logistically, a project like this would have to make sense and be agreed upon by both neighboring parties. Sutherland believes the addition of nearly 2,000 water customers would be beneficial for the city of Portsmouth.

“Water systems run off of customers, and we’ve got to make sure that our customers are taken care of,” Sutherland said. “The more customers we have, it lessens the burden on water rates. If we’ve got people that are using quite a bit of water, it will help offset some of the costs, and that saves our existing customers.”

Portsmouth is already in the design phase of building a new $67 million filtration facility behind the existing one.

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