Seligman to purchase new irrigation equipment

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Officials say newer system will mean less breakdowns

Last fall, the city of Seligman began plans to improve its 34-year-old irrigation system used in its lagoon, which stores the city's sewage and waste water.

Brian Nichols, Seligman city clerk, said the city needed a more efficient way of discharging waste water from the lagoon.

"The problem is [the equipment] is not the best design," he said. "The model we gave is an 80s model. All of last year, we had continual breakdowns with it. That's led to extra water in the lagoon, so more water's building up because we're not able to pump it out." The piece of equipment used to discharge waste is a rain reel.

"It has a really big sprinkler nozzle on the end," Nichols said. "It's basically a

glorified sprinkler. It will get rid of 375 gallons per minute. It has a gas-powered motor and slowly reels that back in. We'll drag it out 1,000 feet and it will reel it back in on its own."

City crews spray sewage and waste water over crops owned by the Miller family, which surrounds the lagoon, with the rain reel, which frequently breaks down. City leaders became frustrated with the amount of time and money spent repairing the rain reel and decided to replace the equipment with an updated rain reel or stationary guns.

The initial estimated cost last fall was $60,000. The city sought guidance from Olsson Associates, an engineering firm based in Joplin. The total cost ultimately depends on the design and recommendations made by the firm.

"Any time work is being done with water or wastewater pipes, we have to submit an engineering report to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)," Nichols said. "So, that's why we have an engineer involved in the design process, to make sure that we're doing everything right, that whatever we put in the ground is going to be correct.

"With this new irrigation system, [breakdowns] would no longer be an issue. Each spray gun costs about $2,500, and we're looking at buying about 23 guns. We have a whole layout that Olsson has been working on that we've broken into nine phases. Not every phase will be used, we're just making a plan."

Nichols said the city aims to work on three guns at a time.

"Each one of those phases will be about $20,000," he said. "Each phase would consist of one long stretch of pipe and three guns. One stretch is about 1,000 feet."

According to city documents, the lagoon, which is located west of Seligman on Farm Road 2290, has a storage capacity of 6,539,460 gallons and a 321,776-square-foot emergency spillway.

Nichols said if all the materials are on site and the city has about three people to work, it would take approximately one week per line to complete.

"Our primary goal is to get two completed before the end of the year," Nichols said. "So, with Olsson drawing up the plans and submitting them to the DNR for their approval, once approved we can submit an application for a construction permit to start the lines.

"Most larger towns have a waste water treatment facility that's self-contained, so all of our waste water goes to our lagoon. There's natural bacteria that grow and eat all the sewage in the lagoon and everything processes down low. Bacteria eat it then we pump out the water that's on top."

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