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High nitrates have town looking at new well

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Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 9:23 am | Updated: 9:27 am, Tue Dec 18, 2012.

LINDSAY — Lindsay is moving forward with plans to construct a new well.

The village board conducted a public hearing Dec. 3, which is required prior to a grant application. The board approved the signing of the application documents.

The village board approved the application for a Community Development Block Grant for $350,000. Of that sum, $332,500 will be used for water and wastewater improvements and $17,000 would be used for the general administration of the grant.

The total cost of the project is $824,450, and Lindsay would provide $281,550 in matching funds for the $350,000 grant. Other project expenses paid by the village will include legal, easements, property acquisition and engineering fees of $192,000.

Lowell Schroeder, a representative of the Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District, said Lindsay will make loan payments to a revolving loan fund for the balance of the loan plus interest. Sometimes portions of the loan may be forgiven.

Roger Protzman, senior project engineer for JEO Consulting Group  of Norfolk, said the proposed project is to drill a new well and construct a water transmission main from the new well site to the community.

“It appears at this time the water from the new well may be mixed together to dilute the nitrate concentration to a safe drinking water level so that the city has multiple wells available for a supply and to continue to use the existing infrastructure,” Protzman said.

High nitrate levels in the village’s water system prompted the need for the project.

On Dec. 15, 2011, the state’s administrative order took effect. During the fourth quarter of 2011, the city’s main supply well exceeded maximum contaminant level for nitrate, which is 10 milligrams per liter

Protzman said the Department of Health and Human Services monitors all drinking water supplies for various contaminants. There is a sampling schedule for each contaminant.

The frequency can be anywhere from monthly to one every nine years. For nitrates, the maximum contaminant level is 10 milligrams per liter.

When the level exceeds 5 milligrams per liter, the state requires the community to send a sample to the state laboratory from that well once a quarter (four times a year).

“So in this case routine water samples were being monitored quarterly and then in 2011, it exceeded 10 milligrams per liter. The sample in 2011 was 10.6 milligrams per liter, so it was just barely over,” he said.

The new well will be located one-half mile east and one-quarter mile north of Lindsay.

The plan is to purchase 1 acre of land for the well site. The rest of the project will be constructed on easements or road right-of-way.

Lowell Schroeder of the Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District works with Lindsay.

“The village is a member of the Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District,” Schroeder said. “We assist member communities with strategic planning, community income and attitude surveys, grant applications and grant administration.”

The project will benefit about 51 percent low-to moderate-income persons, and no one will be displaced by the project.

Schroeder said the CDBG application will be submitted in January 2013.

“If awarded, an announcement will be made approximately within 45 days. The project should go out for bids in May 2013. The construction of the well should occur during the summer with the water transmission line completed in the fall of 2013,” he said.

© 2015 The Norfolk Daily News . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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