In the wake of the Marcellus Shale drilling, the Borough of Ridgway is considering several routes in selling water to drilling operators.
"As we look more and more at this potential for selling water, more and more comes to light as regulations are changing, but I think perhaps our wisest posture as a borough would be to develop a request for proposals," said environmental manager Paul McCurdy. "We are saying we would like to market waste water effluent and define some parameters asking people to submit written proposals asking people how to do that, which would make us essentially the producer and wholesaler and then these other people a retailer.
"That is one way to look at it if we want to go that route."
McCurdy proposes another possibility of selling water on a pay-as-you-go basis.
"Whoever comes we fill them up and they will pay us for it," McCurdy said. "There are some issues there because we are limited on what we can do there, if we get into investing, in say, filling stations and developing a customer base, we will have to go out and market our water.
"We may be crossing a line into speculative investment business that is beyond what we are supposed to do as a borough, so we need to look a little closer at this. Some of the councilmen I have talked with have some opinions and input on this. I don't think we have a firm enough grip on this to actually act yet. Getting a pulse of the market is quite the exercise because it is changing so rapidly and I wish I could give you more to go on."
Pick up a copy of the Thursday, June 23, 2011 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.