County to pursue water monitoring equipment

Staff reporter

Marion County Sanitarian Bobbi Strait will look for a grant to help pay for a monitor to test surface water for contaminants.

Strait asked Marion County Commission for permission to purchase a portable meter for $8,360, which was a planned expense.

Strait said having the equipment could save time and money for the county and residents. When the dog poisoning incident occurred last summer at Marion Reservoir, it took the county three weeks to obtain test results from the state. With this meter, the county could determine right away if there are toxins in the water and eliminate other causes of poisoning.

It also would be a help to the cities of Marion and Hillsboro in monitoring toxins at the water supplies.

The commission recommended Strait try to find grant money to cover the expense.

In other business:

— Strait reported she had received a grant through Kansas Department of Health and Environment for a new computer in the amount of $1,254. The commission approved the purchase from Great Plains Computers & Networking of Marion.

— Peggy Blackman, WRAPS coordinator, presented an annual report regarding the use of funds.

At a recent meeting about sedimentation, which is an issue at all reservoirs, Blackman said she was told that it could cost $1 billion to dredge a seven-acre lake. Marion Reservoir is more than six acres.