Posted on

Abby sees sustained drop in copper levels

Abby sees sustained drop in copper levels Abby sees sustained drop in copper levels

By Kevin O’Brien

Copper levels in Abbotsford’s wastewater discharges continue to be well below impending DNR limits after a simple change in the sampling procedure was made earlier this year.

At the city council’s latest meeting on Nov. 4, city officials presented a pair of charts showing the dramatic drop in copper levels after the new testing method was put in place this summer.

It’s quite a turnaround from the beginning of this year, when city officials were worried about having to spend thousands of dollars per year on additional chemical treatments in order to meet new copper limits taking effect in 2021.

At one point, the city even had a proposal on file with the DNR to do a $6.4 million upgrade to its wastewater treatment plant in order to remove excess copper and phosphorus. However, those plans were withdrawn after Mayor Lori Voss and city administrator Dan Grady insisted on looking at cheaper options.

Engineer Dan Borchardt of MSA Professional Services, which is assisting the city with the copper issue, said the new testing method seems to be working to get the city into compliance.

“The results all look good and are pretty accurate,” he said.

Other business

_ Battalion chief John Austin of Central Fire and EMS told the council that a Sept. 14 concert at the city’s fire hall raised about $12,000 for the purchase of radios and pagers for firefighters. He said it was the first fundraiser put on jointly by firefighters and EMTs in Abbotsford, Colby and Dorchester.

“It went very well,” he said.

_ Grady said the city is going to be marketing the residential lots in the new Schilling Meadows subdivision, along with the land available in its new industrial park, using signs along the highway and online information.

_ Grady said residents who want their monthly water bill emailed to them need to log into the PSN website, which is accessible through the city’s website, and select the paperless option.

_ Borchardt said the road work on South First Avenue, from Linden to Elm, should be completed by Friday, Nov. 15. The council approved a $92,774 pay request from Haas Sons for that project.

_ The council a final pay request of $37,059 from Steen Construction for building the new Industrial Park Road off STH 13 north of McDonald’s.

_ The council approved an easement allowing Xcel Energy to install underground electrical lines in the Schilling Meadows subdivision.

_ The council approved the purchase of a Wacker Neuson rammer for $2,205 from Lincoln Contractors Supply, which submitted the lowest of three quotes. Utility director Josh Soyk said the rammer is used to compact clay soil before laying new blacktop after a water main break.

_ The council approved the purchase of a new VFD for a pump at the sewer lift station on Linden Street, at a cost of $7,848 from Crane Engineering. Soyk said the VFD controls the speed of the pump, saving energy and preventing sewer backups after heavy rainfall.

_ The council approved a $12,945 quote from Midwest Testing, which submitted the lowest of three quotes for testing large water meters, as required by the Public Service Commission.

_ The council approved a one-year, $4,950 contract with Cedar Corporation for environmental monitoring of the city’s former landfill site. Cedar’s offer was less expensive then those submitted by two other firms, MSA and SEH, which had the contract for the past five years.

_ The council approved a new certified survey map for 400 W. Pine St., which is being split into two parcels — a roughly three-acre parcel with the existing house on it and a two-acre empty lot, which has its own driveway to provide access.

_ The council approved alcohol operator’s license for Molly Bose, Angelina Hernandez Jacobsen and Denean Samiego. A license application from Chad Kilty was denied after the council met in closed session with Kilty and police chief Jason Bauer.