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08-30-05 Celina to learn how to improve water quality

By Tim Cox

  The final report of a four-month study into fixing Celina's water system will be made in a presentation to Celina City Council members and the public next week.

  Metcalf & Eddy, Columbus, will present numerous options for the city to meet EPA mandates on water quality. The proposals range from short-term fixes to temporarily meet standards until a permanent solution is in place to full-scale plans for a new water plant.
  The meeting is today at 6 p.m. at the Richardson-Bretz Memorial Building on West Fulton Street in Celina. The technical presentation is expected to run about one hour.
  Safety-Service Director Jeff Hazel said the public is invited to hear the presentation but cautioned the meeting is not the proper forum to debate water issues. Residents will be given the opportunity to comment during a round of five more public meetings in the weeks following the Metcalf & Eddy presentation.
  Residents who cannot attend the presentation can wade through the report and supporting material themselves. Copies of the entire report will be available at the library and the city utilities office.  Celina is under findings and orders from the EPA to rebuild or update its water plant to bring the city into environmental compliance. Trihalomethanes (THMs), a byproduct of organic material in the lake water and the chlorine used to treat it, remain at high levels. Some studies have indicated that THMs can cause cancer after years of exposure.
  The Metcalf & Eddy study, commissioned last spring, cost about $130,000. For the money, Celina officials get a "multitude of options" for fixing the city's water problem, said Kent Bryan, the city's community development consultant.
  "They have given us solutions that would work technically," Bryan said. "We asked them to look at everything from fairly simple solutions to bring us into compliance in the short term up to a complete rebuild of the plant."
  The Metcalf & Eddy study makes no single recommendation for the best way for city officials to proceed. Instead, city officials will have to decide whether to pursue a short- or long-term solution, considering cost and technical issues.
  The study did not consider any water treatment options using ground water. City officials had considered in the past switching the water system from drawing lake water to pumping water from underground wells. Because of complications involving the ground water issue, they opted not to include it in the scope of the water study.


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