Workers and heavy equipment crowds do the continuing work involved in the Midland water project.

More potable water goal of Midland project

The purpose of the current water project in Midland is twofold: to provide a new water storage tank and to improve drinking water quality for the current water customers on the town’s distribution system.
Several years ago, Banner Associates, Inc. was asked by town leaders to look into the current system, to perform modeling and make recommendations to both the town board and the state water board as to how improvements could be made.
Jared Fosheim, Midland town board president, explained the process of getting a new water tank. “Currently, we are hooked up to rural water. We had to do that to get it to dry up for the foundation for the new tank. As soon as the new foundation hole was dug, water began to seep in. That is when we decided that we would have to take the old tank offline to get things dried up.”
Fosheim continued, “As soon as we get the foundation for the new tank poured, we are going to get water back in the old tank for fire protection.” Currently, the water pressure is adequate for filling fire trucks, but is a bit of a slower loading rate. Fosheim estimated that the total time to get the new foundation in, barring any rain or other delays, is approximately two weeks. The new tank foundation will have drain tile, so further water saturation should not be a problem.
Work on the old water pipes and the system in general is also needed.
“We have had issues in the past with water sitting in the deadend lines getting stale,” said Fosheim. “By looping the deadend lines, it will help keep the water fresher for all of the town’s residents. Another advantage to having everything looped together is, in the event of a water break, we will be able to isolate it better to affect fewer residents of the town.” The work crews are currently digging in the street one block south, adjacent to, main street.  
According to David LaFrance, Banner project manager, it was found that there were several deadend water mains that were affecting the water quality due to higher than normal residence time of the potable water within the pipes. Water was not circulating, or looping, back through these pipes, thus becoming stagnant.
LaFrance said the new design provides looping of the dead end water mains to improve the water quality and provide redundancy for the system in the event of any water main breaks.
As an additional benefit, when the approximately 3,000 lineal feet of new six-inch water mains are completed, higher fire flows will be available for many of the residences and the downtown area. This adds to the capability to fight fires.
LaFrance added that, due to severe rusting and excessive leaking of the existing water tank, the tank has been shut down for much of the time since December 2016. Shutting it down helped stem the excessive water losses. 
A new water tank, with a 53,000 gallon capacity, will be installed later this summer. The old tank will then be torn down. The new tank will include a water mixing system to improve the tank’s capability for compliance with federal guidelines for drinking water quality.
LaFrance stated that the low bid price for the Midland water project was from Sharpe Enterprises, Pierre, for $561,671.50. The water project is slated for construction completion by the end of September 2017.
The project is funded through a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grant and a State Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) State Revolving Fund (SRF) program low interest loan.
According to the DENR, “The CDBG is a flexible loan program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. The Clean Water SRF program was established to provide low interest loans to governmental entities for clean water and nonpoint source pollution control projects. The amount of funds available depends upon the amount of appropriations from the United States Congress and the amount of repayments from funds previously loaned.
The DENR information continued, “In order to be eligible for the Clean Water SRF program, the applicant (Town of Midland) must be a governmental entity with the authority to generate revenues and to repay either a general obligation, revenue obligation, sales tax obligation, or combination of these bonds. The project must be on the State Water Plan prior to submitting the funding application. The project/activity must be identified and included as a potential project in the intended use plan, which identifies potential wastewater projects and nonpoint source management activities. The list of potential wastewater projects incorporates a priority ranking system to comply with project priority list requirements as per federal regulations.”    

The Pioneer Review

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