Parsons Updated on Water Project
By: Lydia Crawley
The Parsons Advocate
Project Manager Eric Sherrard and Staff Engineer Zac Musgrove from the Thrasher Group updated the City of Parsons City Council on the progress of the Parsons Water System Improvements Project at the Council’s meeting.
Council Member Tim Auvil commented on the importance of the water system improvements during the meeting. “This particular project is really vital and important because this is replacing the last 25% of the lines that we have not replaced in this town so far for one,” Auvil said. “And number two, that 25% doesn’t have the adequate fire protection necessary because most of its all on four-inch lines and you can’t hook a fire truck up to a four-inch line. And that’s critical. That will now cover all our customers with this project’s completion.”
Sherrard said the project is a credit to the city. “The fact that you are replacing all that water line is a real credit to the city,” Sherrard said. “To try to get ahead of this because a lot of places are way, way behind. Extreme water loss. Lines in difficult areas.”
According to Auvil many of the lines slated for replacement are over a hundred years old. “These particular ones, a lot of them are over 100 years old,” Auvil said. “Literally over a hundred years old. And about fifteen years ago, our accountability for our water was about 52% and now we’re running, what, 88. All the rest of it was going in the ground because of bad lines. That’s why it’s so critical to replace them.”
According to Sherrard, the project is in a waiting phase due to funding requests. “Design wise, we are about the same amount along,” Sherrard said. “But we are waiting. We applied for a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund money for the water, which is the counterpart to Clean Water State Revolving Fund Sewer money.”
Sherrard said the funding program has merged under the Department of Environmental Protection. “That program just merged all under DEP,” Sherrard said. “Where it used to be through the Health Department.”
According to Sherrard, Thrasher is awaiting word on who the reviewer assigned to the project will be. “So we are waiting to see who our reviewer is and make sure they aren’t going to implement other things on us before we can submit anything to them,” Sherrard said.
Sherrard said that despite being in a waiting phase, some progress has been made on the design phase of the project. “So, we are a little bit in limbo, but we’ve still progressed with the design of that one, as well,” Sherrard said. “A couple of minor tweaks we may have to make with it, getting the water out from underneath all of the mobile homes at the trailer park and replacing the line out down to Kingsford. We’ve added some to this since the last iteration, as well.”
According to Sherrard, there are some service lines slated for replacement from the mains to the meters in the project. “There are a couple of places in town where we will be replacing service lines and it will be replaced from the main to their meter set,” Sherrard said.
According to Auvil, the new lines the city will be running will only go to the meter and any lines needing replaced past that will be the responsibility of property owners. “The city only goes to the meter,” Auvil said. “It’s the property owner’s responsibility from there on in.”
Sherrard said he is hopeful that the project can get the same reviewer for both the water and sewer projects. “We’re hoping for the same reviewer on the water that is going to sewer at DEP since its all there, but they’ve not confirmed that with us,” Sherrard said. “But that will speed things up and marry these projects together.”
The next meeting of the Parson’s City Council Meeting will be held on October 17th at 6 p.m. at the Charles W. “Bill” Rosenau Municipal Building located at 341 Second Street in Parsons.