Geneva seeking filter repairs; water safe

    Geneva Clerk-Treasurer Bill Warren provided an update on the water system's iron filter Tuesday at the town council meeting. At last month's meeting, he had said that it was malfunctioning. This month, he informed the council that the filter is completely offline.
    Warrren did emphasize that the water is still being chlorinated and is safe to drink, though it might have some rust in it from time to time.
    Warren said he had consulted with Peerless Midwest about the filter and the town's options for fixing it. He explained that at the top of the 25-foot tank that processes the town's water, water goes through an aerator that adds chlorine to the water and mixes it in, then into a large detention tank which holds 8,000 gallons, where the water sits until it is ready to be used.
    Then it goes through the iron filter at the bottom of the tank, which is supposed to remove the iron before the water is used.
    Warren presented the council with three options to repair the filter:
    1.    A company could try to rehabilitate the filter, which would cost about $200,000, and would not guarantee a permanent fix — Warren said that Peerless Midwest estimated this process might give the filter two more years of use.
    2.    A company could keep the same tank and just replace the filter at the bottom of it, which would cost about $270,000.
    3.    A company could install a new tank for aeration and detention and have three separate chambers—which Warren explained would be similar to propane tanks—where the iron would be filtered from the water. This project would cost approximately $214,000, and Warren recommended this option to the council.
    However, Warren explained, this last option posed two problems. The tank is outside the town's permit limits. The town would have to obtain a new permit from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), which would be difficult at best, as he doesn't have any drawings for the new water system.
    Secondly, he doesn't have any specs to put the project out for bids, which the town must do by state law because of the price. He's not sure he can get either the drawings or the specs from Peerless Midwest, because they might be offended that the town consulted them, but didn't hire them to do the work.
    He also said that if the town made a decision on this right away, the project might be completed by the middle of August. However, he added, the Water Department would probably not do the expected $150,000 pipe repair project, and the water line to the Hardy addition has been put on hold. Warren noted that though IDEM does not require iron filtration, they encourage a town that has already begun to do it to continue doing it.
    The council suggested that Warren ask Peerless Midwest to provide drawings and specs for this project, and offer a consolation price to them if they don't win the bid.