Costly chlorine leak at the Parsons water plant

A recent chlorine leak at the water plant was discussed at last week’s Parsons City Council meeting. The leaked gas damaged some of the building’s infrastructure and equipment.

The leak was discovered when the part time operator arrived at the water plant, and the chlorine alarm was sounding. The main filtration building was full of chlorine gas. “Chlorine gas was so highly concentrated, it burnt the grass five feet out from the door,” City Administrator Jason Myers said.

The operator was diagnosed with acute bronchitis after the exposure.
A water line had burst overnight and back siphoned the chlorine into the plant. Since chlorine is highly corrosive, computers, testing equipment, and electrical equipment was damaged beyond repair.

“The whole building has to be rewired. It has to be replumbed. Our $50,000 rain equipment has to be replaced,” Myers said.

Myers estimated the insurance claim will be above $200,000.

During the public comments portion of the council meeting, implementing a three strike policy, similar to the Splash Park policy, at the Wellness Center was discussed. Concerns included users not paying their dues and the workout room being left in disorder after use. “I like the three strikes you’re out. I’ll put that on the next agenda for you all,” Myers said.

The 911 Director requested to reinitiate 911 dispatcher ride alongs with city law enforcement. “Dispatchers go out with law enforcement and ride along to learn what we have to have from them,” Parsons Police Chief Bill Rowe said. “They learn what we have to have out here in the field to help them better dispatch when they get back.”

Parsons Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Kevin White asked for an active school shooter class for fire department and EMS personnel.

A Fall Cleanup Event for residents of Parsons is scheduled for the week of October 15. The council will sponsor the Neil Gutshall Memorial Golf Tournament at the Holly Meadows Golf Course over Labor Day weekend.

Linda Plaugher was appointed as a Five Rivers Library Board Trustee Member until June 30, 2023.

The next Parsons City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 7 at 6 p.m.

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