• Last modified 506 days ago (Jan. 30, 2020)


City could see valve shut-off in March

Staff writer

Peabody’s water valves are sticking, which might require several valves being shut off in March to address the problem, public works superintendant Lucas Larsen said at Monday’s city council meeting.

“We either shut that half of town off again and replace it, or do a quick fix for now to get it filled in,” he said.

If water pressure dips below 20 pounds per square inch, which will happen if several valves are shut off, a boil-water advisory will need to be issued, Larsen said.

Shutting down the valves would cut water to downtown Peabody, Peabody-Burns Middle/High School and elementary school.

Fixing the problem on a Sunday when there is less activity might be the best option, councilman Travis Wilson said.

“I don’t want to see us band-aid something and two months later be back in a situation where we have to have an advisory,” he said.

Having someone from Kansas Rural Water Association use a hydraulic valve exerciser to turn the valves might be a good option, Larsen said. In addition to solving the immediate problem, Larsen will have the experience if he needs to borrow Hillsboro’s valve exerciser in the future.

“I’ve never run one, so I don’t want to be breaking valves off left and right, and have to spend more money on valves,” he said. “Those valves are expensive.”

The council approved purchase of a new brand of water treatment chemical because of a price increase from Aquamag, the city’s usual brand. Aquamag now costs $990 per barrel, while the product being tested, Omni ePhos Plus, is $770 per barrel.

While they might appear to be similar products on paper, it’s important to check their shelf lives, councilman Rick Reynolds said.

“We had to change some chemicals in our water treatment at work,” he said. “One of them was way cheaper but it has one third the shelf life.”

A decision was also made to purchase Crafco pavement patch to see if it proves more effective than the cold patch Peabody uses.

City employees should keep track of potholes as they are filled so the council can see which product lasts longer, Wilson said.

“That way we can say this lasted 12 months, compare to the cold patch that was lasting two days,” he said. “If it’s lasting three times longer than the cold patch, in the long run it’s going to benefit us.”

Peabody spent $1,437.75 on 10 tons of cold patch last year. The Crafco product would cost $542 for a pallet of 60 50-pound bags.

It is also important to make sure potholes are being filled correctly, Larsen said.

“You fill a hole in, pack it and just leave, we’re not doing that anymore,” he said. “Some of those holes you have to pack them and add more, pack them and add more.”

Peabody police are watching for children reported running on rooftops downtown, but have yet to find anyone in the act, police chief Bruce Burke said.

“We’ll continue to monitor and see what we come up with,” he said. “I don’t want to see anyone to fall through one of those old roofs.”

Last modified Jan. 30, 2020