April 17, 2024

Creston water open to filling Osceola pool

Creston Waterworks has agreed to sell water to Osceola to fill its swimming pool, should Osceola make the request. Dry weather has limited Osceola's water supply.

Creston Waterworks Board Tuesday approved to discuss selling water to the city of Osceola for its swimming pool this season. Osceola officials contacted Creston how it would work, if Osceola follows through.

Because of the extended dry weather and limited sources of water Osceola has asked its residents to conserve water as much as possible.

Creston Waterworks General Manager Steve Guthrie said he would expect up to 200,000 gallons to be used. Osceola would provide a truck to haul the water. Creston’s standard rate is $10.29 per 1,000 gallons.

Guthrie said because of the unique request, he said the board could create a different rate. Creston charged Southern Iowa Rural Water Association $5 per 1,000 gallons during the change to is own water treatment plant.

Board chairman John Tapken agreed.

“There is a medium ground in my book on something like this,” he said. “I think there is somewhere in the middle.”

Board member Mark Eblen said the charge to SIRWA set the precedent. Board member Melissa Driskell made the motion to charge Osceola $5 per 1,000 gallons. That was second by Eblen. Guthrie said Wednesday Osceola has not formally made the transaction to purchase the water.

Guthrie said SIRWA ended using water provided by Creston on Jan. 29, a week longer than the date stated in agreements. SIRWA built its own water treatement plant east of Creston along U.S. Highway 34 and started making the plant operational in late December. For decades, SIRWA had been buying Creston water for its customers and paying a determined amount of the expenses.

The change is significant to Creston operations. The average daily water use in January has been about 3.3 million gallons. Without SIRWA, it dropped last month to between 750,000 and 1 million gallons. Staffing for the water treatment plant will be addressed by attrition.

Guthrie said water main leaks were common in the past month. Multiple leaks were discovered in the 600 and 700 blocks of North Elm Street. The plan is to do extensive water main replacement in that area.

The plan to have more water main replacement work including Uptown Creston has been delayed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Guthrie speculated the project may not begin until this fall.

John Van Nostrand

JOHN VAN NOSTRAND

An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.