By Beth Christian Broschart
The Parsons Advocate
PARSONS – Parsons City Council sponsored a meeting with Tetra Tech representative Russell Myers Monday evening to present the Source Water Protection Plan for the area, a project the group has been working on for the better part of a year. Myers said the Plan is due July 1, and Monday’s meeting was the final meeting before it is submitted.
“What I am doing at this point is loading everything to a disc,” Myers said. “When completed, we will submit it to the Health Department to see if they have any suggestions before it is submitted. We will complete a bound version to keep on hand at City Hall and at the water treatment plant.”
Myers said the group has been working on a plan that came from chemical spill in Charleston in 2014.
“The legislature was in session at the time and they passed Senate Bill 373, requiring these Source Water Protection Plans be developed,” Myers said. “At that time, my company, Tetra Tech started working with the health departments to flush out how this was going to happen and how the source water plan was going to be built.”
Myers said all of water utilities in the state have a template to use and Tetra Tech is working with 65 out of about 120 water systems who must complete the plans.
“Every water system in the state that has a surface water source or ground water source has to complete a plan,” Myers said. “Most water systems have been able to find the funding to have one of these completed.”
Myers said Tetra Tech had completed a Source Water Plan for Parsons and Hamrick PSD in 2012. “So really, this process was really getting wrapped up when the chemical spill in Charleston happened – at then it was determined everyone needed to update their plan,” Myers said.
Additional details added to the plans mainly came out of what was not known before the 2014 Charleston chemical spill.
Parsons water system information shared by Myers is that Parsons Water treatment serves 781 customers or 1,952 people and the water treatment capacity is 702,000 gallons per day. On average, the water treatment plant produces 203,000 gallons per day and the plant is staffed 8 to 10 hours per day. The storage capacity of locally treated water is 576,000 gallons, roughly enough to last 2.8 days.
Myers said Parsons uses Shaver’s Fork as a primary source for raw water and Hamrick PSD uses the Dry Fork. He said neither water system, at this time has a fully reliable alternative source of raw water they could switch over to at any time if the primary source was impaired for any reason.
“But there is an inter connection in the works between the two systems that could supply either system at any time,” Myers said. “I think during our analysis of the situation we determined that inter connection will require running a line across the Black Fork and probably constructing a booster pump station on the far side of the river so the entire Parsons system could be served.”
Myers said for a little more cost, backup intakes for both systems could be developed.
Parsons Councilman Tim Auvil said the City of Parsons was turned down for a Small Cities Block Grant for the tie-in for this year.
“We were turned down because they said there was already a lot of money distributed in Tucker County. They said they had to spread the funds out. There was only $64 or $65 million requested across the state and they only had $12 or $13 million to work with,” Auvil said. “We did reapply already for next year. They said since we applied the first time, we would be more apt to receive a grant that anyone who applies new next year.”
Auvil said the cost for the tie in is estimated to be $575,000.
Myers went over the rest of the points of the plan and asked members if anything needed changed. A copy of the Parsons Source Water Protection Plan is available at the City of Parsons Business Office.