Decision time soon for water solutions

Published: Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 09:46 AM.

Answers to the vexing issues of discolored water are coming into focus for staff with the city of Port St. Joe.

City commissioners will soon be asked to weigh-in on a path forward.

A meeting this week with David Kozan from CDM Smith, the contractor which designed the city’s $21 million surface water treatment plant, continued to hone the dialogue on potential solutions for discolored water which have plagued the city since its new water plant came online more than three year ago.

A foundation of consensus is built upon the belief that the ongoing replacement of aging pipes in the distribution system, particularly the cast iron pipes, will eliminate an estimated 90 percent of the iron present in the system by the end of this year or early 2015.

Iron, or ferric (iron-containing compounds), has been identified as the likely source of “red water” complaints in the city.

However, iron is not the sole issue, as was discovered during a pilot water study conducted by CDM, in partnership with Virginia Tech University.

As Kozan noted, nearly half of complaints about the city’s water has described “dirty”, “ice tea” or “black” water conditions. The likely source of that, the pilot study found, was manganese.

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