March 07, 2021

Water infrastructure updates, rate increase planned

Creston Water Works customers will see a 4.5% increase to the water portion of their bill as of July 1 as it upgrades its drinking water infrastructure.

Steve Guthrie, Creston Water Works general manager said the department will be upgrading the 12-mile intake at the Creston Water Plant in July.

The project area is the existing water treatment plant and intake at 12-Mile Lake. The proposed project includes two parts. Part one of the proposed project will upgrade the 12-Mile intake by replacing all electrical components, installing new variable frequency drives and motors, and repairing any damage to the building. Part two of the proposed project will be to install VFDs on the membrane system blowers, flow pace the coagulant system, upgrade the alarm system, and repair valves to allow for greater flexibility in use of the existing ground storage reservoirs. Minimal excavation may occur on the water treatment plant property to update the piping system. Both parts of the project will be coordinated simultaneously.

“Some of the upgrades are necessary so we can operate at lower flows for when we lose our largest customer,” said Guthrie.

In July 2020, SIRWA and Creston Water Works announced they will eventually end their partnership, with SIRWA planning on building its own treatment facility to serve its rural water customers. With SIRWA as its customer, the 12-mile water plant operates at a higher flow rate. Guthrie said operating at a lower flow rate could damage the equipment.

“To prevent that from happening, we are adjusting our intake pumps so that they can operate at the lower flow but are still maintained or designed to capacity so that we have a wider range of flexibility of what flows we can run at,” he said.

A date has not yet been determined as to when Creston Water Works and SIRWA will operate out of their own facilities, but once that happens, the entities plan on working on an agreement to be a backup water source for each other.

The estimated cost of the 12-mile intake project is $2 million. Creston Water Works will be notified in March if it is the recipient of a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant. The remaining amount will be funded through a low-interest loan through the State Revolving Fund, a federal program.

The project, which will begin in July, is projected to be completed in one year.

SARAH SCULL

Sarah Scull is a San Diego transplant now living in Creston, Iowa. Sarah joined the Creston News Advertiser editorial staff as a reporter in in 2012 and was promoted to editor in November 2018.