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Creston Water Works says no issues with water quality

The fire hydrant at the intersection of Howard and Sycamore streets needed to be lowered to conform with the specifications provided by the Creston Water Works department.
The fire hydrant at the intersection of Howard and Sycamore streets needed to be lowered to conform with the specifications provided by the Creston Water Works department.

Cyanobacteria levels are down, bacteria samples were negative, and lead and copper samples met health standards said General Manager Steve Guthrie during the regular meeting of the Creston Water Works Board Tuesday.

The cyanobacteria levels that were a cause for possible concern last month have been “trending down” Guthrie said. There is no need to switch from Three Mile Reservoir to Twelve Mile Reservoir as previously suggested.

Guthrie said it is easier for the plant to keep up with water demand during the hotter months of the year when using the Three Mile Reservoir because those pumps have an output of 4000 gallons per minute compared to the 3200 gallons per minute of the Twelve Mile Reservoir. The yearly switch to Twelve Mile will occur in October as is standard.

Nine bacteria samples were collected and all of them were bacteria free.

The 20 lead and copper samples taken last month all met the health standards, were certified and sent to the Department of Natural Resources.

A nitrite sample taken in the first quarter of 2019 was taken in the incorrect spot. The sample has been retaken, tested and met health standards, but the incident may result in a monitoring violation.

“At no time did we have any issues with the quality of the water,” Guthrie said.

Howard Street

Most of the remaining items on the Howard Street punch list have been addressed by the contractors. The fire hydrant at Howard and Sycamore streets has been lowered. However, the water main at that site remains at 2 1/2 to 3 feet below surface level instead of the 4 1/2 feet required to prevent freezing and there is an issue with an ungrounded tracer wire.

Guthrie stated the board has the option of keeping the cost to fix these issues — approximately $15 to $20,000 — out of the retainage money held back from the payments to the contractor — or relying on the four year performance bond with the contractor.

“If it doesn’t freeze in the next four years it isn’t going to happen,” said Guthrie, “so basically we have a four year warranty on it ... We are covered either way.”

Guthrie stated the money for fixing the tracer wire —$600 to $700 will most likely be held back. A final decision will be made in mid-October

In other water works business:

• John Tapken will replace Dave Koets who resigned from the board last month.

• yearly evaluations of the staff including the general manager have begun as required by the updated employee manual.

• budget workshops for 2020 will begin in October with two capital planning meetings with the supervisors from each department.

• Unaccounted for water loss was back to 0% this month after being 12% in August.

Creston Water Works Board of Trustees meets monthly 5:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month.

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