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City seeks water problem remedies

Staff writer

Council members heard that Pat McCool of Kansas Rural Water Association spent an afternoon in Peabody recently to meet with Mayor Larry Larsen and Hillsboro water technician Morgan Marler about water problems in Peabody.

McCool spelled out specific things the city could do to alleviate some problems and complaints about Peabody’s “red water.”

He recommended public works employees re-start the city’s valve exercising and evaluation program to determine if all the valves in the distribution system are open or closed, are operable, or are in need of repair or replacement.

The valves affect the flow of water and if they are not functioning as they should, the water will not flow properly to its intended destination. Additional valves also might be needed to better flush the system.

In addition, McCool advised the city to determine whether there are any private wells still connected to houses served by the city water supply. He said such wells could be a major contributor to red water and should be disconnected if they are found.

He said adding phosphates to the water might eliminate some problems. Phosphates coat the buildup on the inside of water lines to prevent additional oxidation of the iron.

Finally, McCool suggested replacing selected water lines in red water areas and keeping detailed records of complaints and actions taken.

Larsen said public works employees would begin implementing a renewed valve-exercising program and investigate the cost of adding phosphates to the distribution system.

“These are suggestions from someone who knows the water business,” said Larsen. “They aren’t guarantees, but we are going to try these alternatives and see what happens. We aren’t going to give up.”

In other business:

  • Council members reviewed several complaints about mowing violation letters and the need for better communication of the consequences of not mowing. After discussion, Larsen, Police Chief Bruce Burke, and council members Bob Knapp and Tim Peterson agreed to review the ordinance and possibly make changes to clear up any confusion.
  • The council adopted the Uniform Public Offense Code and Standard Traffic Ordinance. The ordinances include all changes made at the state level.
  • The council agreed to renew for another year, the city’s health care plan for employees through the state’s municipal group plan. Premiums and coverage will remain the same.
  • An annual maintenance agreement with Cummins Central Power LLC for the sewer lift station was approved.
  • Larsen told council members that 16 volunteer firefighters were certified after taking CPR training last week.

The next council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 in the city building.

Last modified Aug. 27, 2014

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