Woodard and Curran presents annual report to City Council

Woodard and Curran presents annual report to City

By: CHRIS BEST

Enquirer Democrat contributor

Woodard and Curran Project Manager Dan Held presented the executive summary of the 2018-2019 Woodard and Curran annual report to the City of Carlinville during Monday night’s city Council meeting. Woodard and Curran was hired in 2017 to manage and run Carlinville’s Public Works department.

Woodard and Curran had an estimated $2.17 million budget for the past fiscal year; however, their final cost was $2.3 million. The report attributed more than 50 percent of the overage to chemical costs for treating Carlinville Lake 1. An additional 25 percent was used toward addressing safety concerns.

All 234 safety audit items that had been identified in August of 2017 have now been addressed. Only two accidents occurred in the past year, and neither was considered a “lost-time” accident.

The wastewater plant treated 439.1 million gallons of water over the past year. There were 835 preventative and corrective maintenance activities completed, and engineering work is now underway to meet Carlinville’s future needs. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit for the city expires in July of 2020. An application for a new permit is being worked on, though Held noted that it was a time consuming process.

There were 282.9 million gallons of drinking water treated and 391 preventative and corrective maintenance activities completed at the water treatment plant this year. The water office collected $2.35 million for the past year.

Held noted that Woodard and Curran sends a representative to attend the Illinois Alluvial Regional Water Company meetings to provide technical assistance to Carlinville’s IARWC representative Cindy Campbell.

There is also work being done on an emergency connection to Jersey County Rural Water which will eventually be the connection for IARWC.

In addition to routine street sweeping and mowing for the city, the street department completed 1,739 work requests and replaced 125 water meters over the past year. There were also 48 preventative and corrective maintenance activities completed.

During the time for public comment, Held addressed the state of the city’s water. According to Held, the issue reported around the city of smelly, bad tasting water was caused by excess of algae growth on Carlinville Lake 1. Held blames the algae on the sporadic heavy rains experienced in the past five months, which resulted in approximately 30 inches of rainfall, compared to the area average of nearly 40 inches per year. The conditions caused by these sporadic heavy rains made it difficult to treat the lake for algae growth, while at the same time creating the perfect conditions for algae to grow by creating an overabundance of nitrogen and phosphorous in the water. The stirring of the manganese from the bottom of the lake, which was also made worse by the rains, is responsible for the discoloration that has been reported with standing water.

A chemist has visited the lake to access the problem and the lake has been chemically treated to combat the issues. The water tanks have been cleaned and pipes have been chemically treated.

Held suggested that those who are experiencing persisting issues should change their air filter more frequently than the recommended 90 days. He also recommended flushing household water lines to combat the issue.

Adam Banister, a citizen experiencing the aforementioned water issues in his own home, took the opportunity to speak after Held during public comment, asking the Council how long issues were expected to persist and if there were any health risks associated with the water.

Carlinville Mayor Deanna Demuzio again gave the floor to Held, who insisted that the city’s water was safe to drink and free of any health concerns. “As far as how long it will take for it to clear, I’m hoping it’s going to be fairly quickly,” Held said, noting the dramatic drops in turbidity and manganese that the water coming into the plant has seen recently. “The issue here is on Thursday, will we get another three- and-a-half inch rain? If we do, it could be a longer period. It’s difficult for me to put a timeframe on when this will go away, but rest assured, we’re trying to do everything we can to minimize the issue.”

Banister then asked if flushing main lines, a suggestion brought up at the previous City Council meeting, could help combat the issue. Held ruled out the possibility for the time being, indicating that there was no reason at this time to believe it would fix the problem.

Other business

The ordinance adopting a revised code of ordinances for the City of Carlinville was shelved until the next meeting. Alderman Bill Link moved to push back the date, suggesting that there had not been enough time to read through the updated codes. The motion was seconded and approved without further discussion.

The hiring of part-time police dispatcher Tina Hall was also approved. Hall is a student at Blackburn College, majoring in criminal justice.

The next City Council meeting will be held in City Hall Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.