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BPW Addresses Water Quality Improvements, Upcoming Projects

Improving water quality at the Holden City Lake and new water and sewer projects headed the agenda when the Board of Public Works (BPW) met in regular session on February 1.

Water Superintendent Tony Lerda opened by giving the Board a brief history of the intake structure at the lake, including its main components and functions.

These included freeze damage done to the structure when it was new and subsequent damage after repair due to vandalism and then theft of parts.

The repair consisted of selecting an optimum location for a different intake.

In the near future, said Lerda, options will be studied to make the system better. “This year we will be identifying how silt may have settled in the lake, and researching ways to improve water quality at the lake before bringing it into the plant,” he noted. “Initially, two options will be researched; a curtain wall to isolate the intake from the turbulence of the whole lake, and/or biological treatment to reduce algae blooms and organic compounds that contribute to bad taste and odor.”

Moving on to the city’s sewer system, Lerda reported a back-up on Lexington Street last month. Large rags and a mop head were found and it was determined they caused the blockage.

Also reported, sewer jet operations were performed around Main and 14th Streets. During the process, a camera was sent into the pipes, discovering root invasions and growth that was promoting blockages. Other problems included cracks or holes, possibly due to utility bores. Remedies for these, Lerda suggested, were replacing or lining the pipes. In an old business item, Lerda informed the Board that not many additional smart meters had been installed due to inclement weather. He said in very cold weather, no attempts are made to open the meters unless necessary.

In new business, solicitation of engineers for water and sewer projects were discussed, as well as funding for them. “One of our projects would be for improvements to the drinking water system,” Lerda added.

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