Cassville City Council reviews repairs made to city well

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Members of the Cassville City Council were updated on recent repairs to one of the city's wells during the aldermen's meeting on July 5.

Public Works Director Steve Walensky said it was discovered that well #2 had a "hammering noise," which was indicative of water rushing into the pipe and hitting an air pocket.

Flynn Drilling Company, of Troy, inspected the well and ended up pulling the motor and casing. Several issues were found at that point.

The casing at the bottom of the pipe had started to degrade, the motor was failing, a check valve was leaking, thus causing the "hammering" sounds when the pump was turned on, and the electric cable had degraded, resulting in excess electrical usage to the city.

Walensky said the components had lasted about 19 years when the normal life-span of the equipment was about 12 years.

Walensky said Flynn employees worked diligently on the repairs, and the well was only down about a day and a half.

"I appreciate their professionalism and knowledge," Walensky said. "During the repairs, they also discovered that a switch was wired incorrectly, which could have resulted in even larger problems."

He said the switch, which has settings for manual, off and automatic had all been wired into the automatic terminal, with no other manner to control when the water was pumped into the well.

Walensky said he had Tucker Electric in Cassville inspect all of the well switches to ensure they were wired correctly.

Cost of the upgrades in pipe casing, motors and check valve totaled $53,155.

In other news, Mayor Tracy Holle said over $336,000 had been spent in water system repairs so far this year as compared to $70,000 last year.

"We have an aging system," Holle said. "It costs a lot to provide water for our community."

Councilmen were also reminded of some repairs needed at the wastewater treatment plant which will include some upgraded technology on the new digester.

Walensky said the new unit would cost approximately $23,450, but that much of the potential savings would be recovered through electrical cost savings. In the meantime until the unit is put into place and online, Walensky has plans in place for someone to haul sludge from the city lagoon to a nearby field, pending the results of soil samples required by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Tom Stedman, of Utility Services, was in attendance at the meeting to assist in finalizing details of the water tower maintenance agreements. From the beginning of negotiations for the company to provide service to the city's water towers, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that laborers under such contract be paid at prevailing wage, which would change the management of the contract slightly.

That contract was approved.

According to City Administrator Eugene Dilbeck, revisions to the contract had minimally increased the original bid for service to $53,903 for 10 years.

Aldermen requested that work on the water towers begin as soon as contracts are signed and work orders issued. In administrative reports, Dilbeck said that Barry and McDonald counties have been added to the disaster declaration for flooding that occurred in April of this year. Cassville will qualify for some federal funds for clean-up remaining from those flooded areas.

Dilbeck said that work previously completed for flood recovery efforts was not eligible for funding, but the grant will employ two people for 480 hours work on Cassville's Greenway Trail rehabilitation.

"This is creating jobs for the unemployed," Dilbeck said. "We're hoping to get the trail restored by the end of summer."

Dilbeck also reminded aldermen that Liz Grove, of Missouri Rural Water Association, would be in attendance at the next regular meeting of the city council to present the water and sewer study on which she has been working.

In her report to aldermen, Police Chief Dana Kammerlohr said the next Drug Take Back program has been scheduled for Oct. 29, which coincides with Red Ribbon Week activities at the school. Kammerlohr said the program would accept both prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Walensky reported that he was very pleased with the catwalk engineered by Arning Industries of Cassville for installation at the wastewater treatment plant.

Walensky also told aldermen that several hatch meters had been pulled from various manholes throughout the city and decontaminated. Those meters will be sent back to the Olsson Associates for data retrieval.

A small team of public works employees was utilizing a camera system to inspect wastewater lines when it became stuck. Walensky told aldermen that employees from the City of Monett came down with their equipment, retrieved the camera and a truck to suction debris from a clogged wastewater pipe.

"Our neighbors to the north saved me about a week of work with a shovel," Walensky said. "They finished the job in about two hours, and we are very appreciative."

"It's great to have that kind of neighbor when you are in dire need," added Dilbeck.

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