An Ohio EPA grant has been announced to assist a Columbiana community after a decision was made to decommission its water system.

A $220,000 grant is being given to the Columbiana County Health District to help homeowners in Winona install private wells. 

Winona Water Supply's decision to decommission its water system and move customers to private wells follows many meetings and discussions with local officials and residents.

The release says repairs to the system would have been cost prohibitive and the option to regionalize with other water systems would have been more expensive. They found it's more practical for each property owner to have their own drinking water well. 

According to a release, the community's water system, which has had ongoing, expensive maintenance issues, will permanently end operations later this year.

To prevent potential health concerns from the aging water system, the State of Ohio was able to provide the grant.

"This project has been of utmost priority to me and I was happy to work with such a great team to assist and assure the residents of Winona this task would be completed quickly," said State Representative Tim Ginter.

Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler said, "We appreciate the leadership and assistance of State Representative Tim Ginter. His help in bringing together village officials, the county, and Ohio EPA to find a creative solution to provide safe drinking water to Winona residents has been invaluable." 

According to the release, depending on household income, homeowners may qualify for 50 to 100 percent of the total cost for the drilling and installation of the wells.

Winona residents who are current customers of the community's water system should contact the Columbiana County General Health District at (330) 424-0272 to plan for the transition to a private well and to discuss funding options.