PSJ commissioners approve water study

Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 09:20 AM.

Port St. Joe commissioners hope another 30-plus weeks and $60,000 will supply a more definitive answer to chronic problems with discolored water experienced by many residents on the south end of the county.

Commissioners approved Tuesday moving ahead with a water distribution profile and pilot study that aimed at definitively identifying the culprit(s) at the root of the discolored water problems that have plagued the city since a $21 million surface water plant went online some three years ago.

“I feel like we have to move forward with it,” said Mayor Mel Magidson. “Hopefully it will lead to some answers to the water problem.”

The study, which will include taking samples over months at different junctures in the trip water takes from the plant to some households and businesses and off-site chemical protocol testing at Virginia Tech, will be something of a fiscal wash for the Commission.

Last week the board of the Northwest Florida Water Management District announced a grant of $106,000 to the city for improvements to the Chipola Pump Station, where water is pumped from the Chipola River to the freshwater canal the city taps for its water, including replacement of the main engine at the station.

That will allow the city to take $65,000 earmarked in the current budget for that work into cash carry forward. Since there is no budget line to pay for the pilot study, the city will tap cash carry forward to pay for it.

“Money-wise it will be kind of a wash,” Magidson said.

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