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Water issues arise in W’bago

By Staff | Aug 13, 2017

As the Winnebago City Council convened on Tuesday, Aug. 8, for their regularly scheduled meeting, it was revealed that city water superintendent Rick Mauris made some concerning findings during a recent inspection.

Mauris documented residual loss of chlorine due to stagnant water. Stagnant water is problematic because it would increase the amount of chlorine needed to treat drinking water while also causing fresh water to settle at the bottom of the water tank. If this were to continue, there would be an uneven distribution of fresh water and also increase the liklihood of water supplies freezing during the winter.

As Mauris explained, additional concerns have arisen as corrosion to the water tower itself was also detected. If tower corrosion continues, it could eventually lead to an elevated levels of copper and lead.

Taking a proactive approach to the situation, the council authorized the purchase of a mixer pump to go along with a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) control box through KLM Engineering.

The mixer pump will ensure an equal distribution of fresh water throughout the tank while the SCADA control box will assist in the effort to remove contaminants. The total cost to the city for these purchases will add up to $15,880.

City administrator Chris Ziegler insisted Winnebago residents need not panic about their current water supply.

“The drinking water is fine the way it is right now,” Ziegler said. “We are investing in this new equipment just to make sure our chlorine costs don’t increase in the long run.” Tax revenue from the ITC Transmission line project will be the main source of funding for this new purchase. ITC Transmission is a high voltage energy transmission company that is replacing the substation south of town. Ziegler estimates the total tax revenue from the city providing bulk water supplies to be around $40,000.

Other action items during the meeting included the approval of Sal Meyer’s resignation from the Winnebago Fire Department. Ziegler thanked Meyer for his hard work and years of dedication to the staff.

The council also endorsed a cooperative agreement with the city of Minneapolis for increased security staff at U.S. Bank Stadium during the 2018 Super Bowl. Personnel from the Winnebago Police Department will be on foot for the event.

Towards the end of the meeting, council member Paul Eisenmenger introduced the idea of adding a dog park by the water tower in Winnebago. While no plans are imminent, council members were receptive to the idea.

“It would give people living outside of Winnebago a reason to visit. While they are here, maybe they will go shopping at the Dollar General, or Casey’s, or some other store. This could definitely help bring business to our city,” said council person Jean Anderson.

It was also announced by Winnebago Mayor Jeremiah Schutt that the EDA Hall of Fame celebration for Bing and Lila Crosby has been rescheduled for Sept. 10. Schutt cited Bing’s on-going health concerns as the reason for the postponement.