Archive for Thursday, January 24, 2008

Water study to be presented to council

January 24, 2008

A water analysis that began in September 2007 will be presented to the Eudora City Council Monday.

The analysis included an update of the city's water department inventory; results of pressure testing done to assess adequate flow and determine what would be needed for future expansion in regards to water towers or pressurization of the system.

"It's part of what I've been trying to do with each utility so that we can do long-term planning so that we don't run into problems as we've had with previous utility decisions and we find ourselves saying, 'Oh my God, we're behind the eight ball and it's going to take us years to catch up,'" City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said.

The study will aid the city in working toward capital plan so that Beatty can be aware of what funding might be needed in the future.

The study also will determine how water is processed to see if there's a way to reduce the amount of lime that reaches the faucet.

Lime is added to soften the water, leaving a white stain resembling a calcium deposit on faucets and other water fixtures, as well as fences that are hit by water from sprinklers.

"What I believe they'll discover is there's not enough processing time to have the lime drop out of the water as much as we'd like it to," Beatty said. "Now, the lime is not harmful for ingestion, but it has been harmful to some appliances. So, the goal is to reduce the amount of lime before it gets to the actual tap."

The study will give suggestions as to how processing time could be improved.

"That's what the study is going to show us," Beatty said. "Is it going to be simple operational tweaking or is it another piece of equipment? Those are the types of things that we have to identify. My preliminary (meetings) with the engineers had indicated that there will be several options that we can look at which all come with certain costs."

Beatty said the water system is adequate, but the study will identify whether or not the system will be sufficient for future development as opposed to what happened with the wastewater system, where city had to retrofit the system as a result of growth. That retrofitting will begin, with bidding closed for the middle interceptor project.

"Our water system we know has extra capacity, but we want to make sure that the infrastructure can support it," Beatty said.

Beatty knows that sometimes the public doesn't understand the need for such studies, but she praised city council members for having the foresight to fund the review.

However, evidence of the need for such studies came just last week when Beatty met with state and Eudora School District USD 491 officials to write a mitigation plan for a FEMA grant that would partially fund a storm shelter in the new elementary school.

"It was exciting to know that what they needed for the mitigation plan was everything that we've been doing in the last two-and-a-half years for infrastructure inventories and mapping," Beatty said.

"The wastewater study, the electric study and the water study contain all the information that they needed, and he (the state official) complemented the city of Eudora for having made the decisions to go ahead and have all that information compiled."

The analysis, done by BG Consultants, is part of a series of tests being done on utilities throughout Eudora. An electric study inventory and mapping was finished in early 2007, but system analysis and forecasting still is left to be done for that study to be completed.

Beatty said a storm drain assessment will be done sometime in 2009 and will tie in with transportation analysis.

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