Canal Winchester and Lithopolis have agreed to settle a lawsuit filed last October over extending a sewer line to the Bishops Run development in Lithopolis.

Canal Winchester and Lithopolis have agreed to settle a lawsuit filed last October over extending a sewer line to the Bishops Run development in Lithopolis.

Canal Winchester provides sewer service to Lithopolis, so when that community wanted to extend a wastewater line to the development, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency required a letter of support from Canal Winchester.

Canal Winchester did issue a letter of support on June 7, 2007, but rescinded it a month later, citing "serious concerns about Lithopolis' loss of a certified (sewer) operator, their discharge of untreated sewage from a poorly maintained line, and a lift station capacity issue."

Lithopolis Mayor Eric Sandine responded by stating that all of those issues had been addressed, but Canal Winchester had failed to reinstate the support letter to the Ohio EPA. So, Lithopolis filed suit in Franklin County Environmental Court on Oct. 26, 2007.

According to the agreement between the two communities, Canal Winchester will reinstate its letter of support for the Bishops Run sewer line. Except for emergencies, no sewer or wastewater can be discharged into the Ashbrook Village lift station, other than what is generated now in the Wagnall's Run subdivision. All such flow, except for that from Wagnall's Run, must be sent through Lithopolis's existing six-inch force main.

The agreement says Canal Winchester is responsible for upgrading the Ashbrook Village lift station. It also says Lithopolis engineer Floyd Brown will inspect that village's entire sewer system, including the six-inch force main that connects to Canal Winchester's sewage collection system.

Both communities will pay their own expenses and attorneys' fees. Lithopolis will pay the court costs from the lawsuit.

Sandine said Tuesday that thanks to the agreement and the reinstated letter of support, the Ohio EPA approved the installation of a sewer line for Bishops Run on July 23.

"The Bishops Run development is now in the laps of the developers," he said.

In a joint statement issued as one of the terms of the court-approved settlement, Sandine said working together "benefits both communities and putting this dispute behind us is a step in the right direction."

Canal Winchester Mayor Mike Ebert said he was "happy that we've been able to put our differences behind us and look forward to working with Lithopolis in the future.

"Reaching a settlement with Lithopolis has been one of my priorities since I took office in January," Ebert said.