NEW HAVEN — A remedy for the brown water that has been plaguing New Haven residents for months is in the works, and they should be seeing clear liquid coming from their faucets soon, it was told at the most recent council meeting.
Present were Mayor Phil Serevicz, Recorder Becky Benson, and council members Roy Grimm, Colton McKinney, Jessica Rickard, Stephen Ohlinger, Jr. and Steve Carpenter.
It was the first face-to-face public meeting for the newly elected administration, who took office on Aug. 4. Due to several people within the town organization being quarantined by COVID, or contact with the illness, the council was unable to hold a public meeting until Monday. Members held one meeting by “Zoom” earlier in August.
While the new council vowed to rectify several issues within the town, one of the more major problems addressed was that of the brown water coming from the faucets of the townspeople. The mayor announced that a solution has been found, and the water should clear up in the next four to eight weeks.
Mayor Serevicz said neither the engineer for the recent water upgrade project from Chapman Technical Group, nor the contractor, J.F. Allen, was at fault for the discoloration. A lawsuit will not be filed as the previous administration had suggested, he said, and in fact, both companies have been paid for back invoices.
The water problem, which had been determined earlier as excess manganese and iron, resulted from the cessation of chemicals used to sequester the minerals at the water plant, the mayor said.
He added the town will go back to using chemicals that will “catch” the iron and manganese and take them to the bottom of the water tank. New flush hydrants will be added to flush the sediment from the tank bottom periodically.
Money for the flush hydrants, as well as other necessary parts and chemicals, will come from the $147,000 in contingency funds from the water project, Serevicz said. The other alternative to correct the problem would have been a multi-million dollar filtration system.
The mayor added another issue in the water department is the new meters that were recently installed as part of the upgrade. Made of plastic, a portion of the meters are registering gallons used by customers incorrectly. Some are receiving $20 bills, while others are getting bills for $600.
Serevicz said the townspeople need to call the city building and let them know if they are receiving irregular bills. Any bad meters will be replaced with new ones, he said.
A one-year warranty is now in effect for the water upgrade project, upon paying the final invoices. The town leaders will inform the contractors of any problems or areas needing corrected as they find them.
(More from the meeting will be published in an upcoming edition. A special meeting has been called for Thursday, 6 p.m. at the town hall, to discuss personnel.)
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at [email protected]