The hope for a small hydro power generating turbine to provide electricity and winter heat at Orchard City's water treatment plant is still under study with technical and other issues yet to be solved.
The town's proposed 2013 budget includes $225,000 for the project.
Trustees are hoping that the project will eventually make the water treatment plant's utility needs self-generating. That would eliminate $14,000 in propane heating costs, and possibly $7,000 in electricity costs.
The principal design engineer on the project has resigned and a new one will need to be assigned to the job.
The town has pursued grants to pay a consultant to prepare necessary federal permit applications.
At the town board's Oct. 10 meeting, Mayor Don Suppes explained that technical issues on water inflow/outflow pressure levels might require installation of a seven horsepower pump. That situation is still being evaluated.
Suppes also reported that a field trip to Meeker is being planned to see an identical installation there and try to evaluate the issue of removing air bubbles from water entering the treatment plant after it is run through the turbine.
Air bubbles in the treatment plant's feed stocks make water production more time consuming and costly. "If we can't produce water, the hydro doesn't do us any good at all," Suppes said.blog comments powered by Disqus