During a recent water committee meeting, Orchard City staff and trustees Dick Kirkpatrick and Doug Keller reviewed the responses from the engineering firm to questions concerning the water plant report. A major element to the report was recommending the addition of a new filter.
However, Keller wants to start on the distribution improvements with each pipeline professionally assessed for value and age to develop a construction plan for replacements now and in the future. Cost estimates are about $35,000.
"I don't think it will raise any red flags they don't already know but would fine tune our plan," said Kirkpatrick.
"If necessary I think the people would be willing to sacrifice to repair a filter that goes down," said Keller, referring to the fact that if a cell went down, Orchard City wouldn't be able to run at full capacity. Staff pointed out that the town is slowly improving distributions already, such as with the Kaiser pipeline project and possibly another project this year.
Trustee Jan Gage asked about the possibility of a grant for this project. Kirkpatrick said it's hard to qualify since the town doesn't meet percentage requirements for water billing based on the population's base salary. Gage still urged for hiring a grant writer.
In the end they concluded the town likely has the funds to complete both the engineering study and the plant expansion and will look into both. With the Kaiser Road pipeline project, the town is saving an estimated $300,000. The town wants to start Knights Road but may use some for the study.
Ultimately the committee plans to recommend the board start the expansion since it's been a back and forth item for numerous years and has been recommended by several engineering firms.
"We gotta get moving forward here," said staff Mike England.
The committee also had a discussion on the water bills and backflow preventers. Starting in July OC plans to put the previous years' usage on the water bill to help citizens understand their water consumption. Three more businesses still need to install their preventers.
Regarding the water audit, loss is still showing high and came in at approximately 24 percent.