The City of Eudora will soon begin work on Phase 1 of upgrading the Water Treatment Plant in Eudora. The City of Eudora contracted with BG Consultants, an Architectural and Engineering firm, to assist with these upgrades.

These upgrades will add meters at the WTP and to four of the city wells to measure how much water comes into the WTP. The metering is necessary so that City Staff can determine what proportions of chemicals are to be added to the water. Other improvements that will be made in Phase 1, call for the addition of variable frequency drives to the wells to help control the amount of water flow into the plant, monitoring and control Upgrades as well as chemical addition equipment.

A $300,000 negotiated bond sale will finance design and installation of the upgrades.

According to John Harrenstein, Eudora City Administrator, these upgrades are expected to be completed in January, 2011.

At the City Council meeting on Monday night, Council members received an updated memo from Brian Kingsley and Thaniel Monaco, engineers with BG Consultants, about what these improvements will do for the city’s water system. In this presentation, the key issue that BG Consultants identified as the largest perceived problem, is the amount of residual lime throughout the entire distribution pipeline. This residual lime can be noticed by users of the Eudora water system as a white film or flakes, known as floc, on dishes after being run through a dishwasher or on a vehicle that has been washed using city water.

Monaco stated that with the upgrades provided for in Phase 1 of the project, it would be impossible to know beforehand what results would be noticeable by the public. The possibility of no visible results could exist after the upgrades are completed.

Monaco, added that due to the likelihood of large amounts of residual lime currently in the system, “which we have no way of quantifying”, it could be anywhere from a few months to upwards of five years before the residual lime can be flushed from the system. Once the residual lime is flushed from the system over time, through use of city fire hydrants or as line breaks occur, improvement then would likely be more noticeable.

Monaco said that they way chemicals have been added to the system in the past, has been in a non-measured form. In his presentation, Monaco equated the old system to a cook in the kitchen adding a “pinch” of ingredients when cooking. With a non-metered chemical addition, the amount of chemical treatments could vary depending on who was responsible for adding the chemicals.

Councilwoman Maria Nelson expressed concern over the fact that there would be no visible improvement to the water quality, and that these improvements do nothing to address water hardness. This was contrary to what she was led to believe in meetings conducted over the last six months. Nelson asked “Why are we hearing about this now and not six months ago?” Both Monaco and Kingsley reiterated that this Phase 1 project was to help address chemical additions to the water system and not address the issue of water hardness.

Monaco also added that the Eudora WTP was not built as a water softening plant and therefore would not be able to facilitate softening the water. If the city wanted to work towards that goal, then additional projects would need to be undertaken to achieve those results.

Mayor Scott Hopson said “To improve the water, you have to start with this step.”

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