Sanitary Board History

Although the City of Weirton, West Virginia was established in 1909 by industrialist Ernest T. Weir, founder of the Weirton Steel Corporation, the City was not incorporated until 1947 when the towns of Holidays Cove, Weirton Heights, and Marland Heights agreed to join together as a municipality. Further development and annexation extended the Weirton Corporation Limits to include the areas of Weircrest, Vermont Terrace, Woodland Estates, Sun Valley, and Chateau Village.

Formed in May of 1956 under the administration of Mayor Samuel Kusic, the Sanitary Board centralized the wastewater treatment needs of these communities. The Wastewater Treatment Plant was constructed in 1958-1959 and was officially put in operation on December 31, 1959. The treatment plant was upgraded to secondary treatment in 1977 by order of the West Virginia State Department of Natural Resources under the Clean Water Act of 1972.

The original Board included:
  • Mayor Sam Kusic, Chairman
  • Trent Ciarrocchi
  • L. A. Fugassi

Some Interesting Facts

  • The oldest sanitary sewer lines in Weirton were installed in the early 1900s. Most of the lines are of the vitrified clay type.
  • The City maintains over 145 miles of sanitary sewer lines ranging from 4 inches in diameter up to 42 inches.
  • There are over 3,500 manholes in the City.
  • Weirton presently has 20 pumping stations located throughout the city to lift the wastewater from low lying areas.
  • The treatment plant outfall is located at mile 66.25 of the Ohio River immediately north of the Fort Steuben Bridge.
  • Prior to construction of the treatment plant, all sanitary waste treatment was accomplished by on-lot disposal systems (septic tanks) or at numerous small package plants located throughout the City.
  • The starting salary for the first Sanitary Board foreman was $350 per month. Assuming a 40 hour work week, that comes out to a little over $2.18 per hour.
  • The Treatment Plant Pump Room is around 65 feet below ground level and is about the same elevation as the Ohio River.
  • The Motor Control Room which is just above the Pump Room was designated as an Emergency Shelter during the Cold War years. It was equipped with Radiation Badges, Geiger Counters, Water Storage Containers and Instructions for maintaining a radioactively safe environment.

Sewage Rates Then vs Now

The Sanitary Board sewage rates in 1958 were as follows:
  • First 10,000 Gallons - $0.75 per 1,000 gallons - Minimum $7.50 per quarter
  • Next 20,000 Gallons - $0.45 per 1,000 gallons
  • Next 20,000 Gallons - $0.41 cents per 1,000 gallons
  • Next 25,000 Gallons - $0.38 cents per 1,000 gallons
  • Over 75,000 Gallons - $0.30 cents per 1,000 gallons
Compare to the present day rates:
  • $3.61 per 1,000 gallons
  • Minimum charge - No bill shall be rendered for less than $13.96 bimonthly.
  • A Bimonthly Customer Charge of $12.95 will be applied to each account.

Other Facts from 1958

Some other facts from 1958:
  • Unemployment was at a post war high of 5.1 million.
  • The median U.S. family income was $5,087 per year.
  • A family sized Chevrolet sold for $2,081.
  • A gallon of gasoline was 30.4 cents.
  • A pair of men's shoes sold for $11.95.
  • A daily newspaper cost $0.05.
  • A year's tuition at Harvard University cost $1,250.
  • A hospital room cost $28.17 per day.
  • A pound of round steak sold for $1.04.
  • A pair of blue jeans sold for $3.75.
  • Green Giant canned beans were introduced.
  • Pizza Hut opened its first restaurant in Kansas City.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower was President of the United States.
  • The New York Yankees won the World Series by defeating the Milwaukee Braves 4 games to 3.