Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

April 20, 2017 Featured - Wellman - City dives into reports on water treatment
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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Andrew Marsh of HR Green was present again at the latest meeting of the Wellman City Council to brief the council on a couple of matters concerning its water infrastructure.

Marsh also updated the city on the termination of the contract with Utility Services, which City Administrator Kelly Litwiller hoped would be finalized by the end of the week.

The major items of discussion were a pair of reports: the first, the results of the leak tests approved by the city in February and the second on studies done on possible well sites for well four.

First, and somewhat disappointingly, that while the results of the leaking report did show four leaks in the city’s water line, none of them were “the smoking gun” that they hoped they’d find. The city is trying to determine the cause of the large gap in between what is billed and what is being pumped by the plant.

Marsh still suggested they fix the leaks.

He was also asked about what the city can do about service lines. The city has discovered a few different breaks in service lines and has tried to get information out on their Facebook page and website on signs that people may have a leak in their service line.

As far as anything the city could do, Marsh called the issue “a pretty big can of worms,” as once you get out of the right of way, it’s the responsibility of the homeowner.

The city is also metering city locations that were previously unmetered, and approved a meter for the fire station, to try to narrow down the source of the gap.

He also went over the results of a well site study, in which HR Green scopped out possible sites for a new well. The report was given the go-ahead after a pair of drilling companies each questioned how much life was left on well two independently and unsolicited. Four locations were considered, each with their own pros and cons.

The first two sites were a longer distance from the water treatment plant, making them the most challenging, particularly with the quality issues seen in well three.

The second, and second-best option, was by the soccer fields. The pros are that such a location is closer to the better water of well 2 and it would not have an effect on the ability to use the area as a soccer field.

Working against the site is it is not owned by the city, but the school district. It is also in the flood plain, which would give the city more permitting hoops to jump through with the Department of Natural Resources.

The best option was located very close to well two. For pros, the water quality is best there and there is the least amount of infrastructure necessary.

As a negative, it is not only located in the flood plain, but the flood way as well, adding to the hurdles.

With a new well built, Marsh said the city may be able to completely shut down well three. When asked about whether well two could be used as a backup with another well so close, Marsh said while they wouldn’t be able to run simultaneously, well two could still survive as a backup, even with its age.

The council, leery to completely give up on well three despite its issues because of the cost the city went through to build it, asked Marsh to come up with estimates for the cost of doing a thorough cleaning on the well and whether such a move would have a lasting impact on the water quality.

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