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Curtiss to try rare earth phosphorus treatment

The village board of Curtiss has approved the use of a new chemical to treat phosphorus levels at its wastewater lagoon system that has the potential to reach limits imposed by the DNR.

Mike Voss of MSA told the board last week Tuesday during its monthly meeting that he had met with Steve Greseth of NEO Chemicals concerning the potential use of RE300, a rare earth compound that has proven to drastically reduce phosphorus levels.

The village is currently using a ferric chloride solution, which has reduced the phosphorus levels at its wastewater lagoon system to 6.78 milligrams per liter, but Voss says that RE300 is even more effective, and is far less acidic than ferric chloride. Voss said RE300 has the potential to allow the village to finally reach the DNR’s restrictions of .075 milligrams per liter.

“I really do believe that RE300 will save the day for you guys,” he said. “It’s a chemical that can get phosphorus down to that .075 limit, and I think it would be a good idea for you guys to start chemical pilot testing that right now.”

Voss informed the board that RE300 will also generate about half the liquid volume of ferric sludge, which would also be a cost savings to the village. It might also have the potential to reduce the cost of rehabbing wells due to the difference in acidity levels. NEO Chemicals’ website touts RE300 as a solution that is 100 times less acidic than a ferric or aluminum- based coagulant. “The cost will be the same as the current ferric chloride solution, but with better results,” Voss said. “You shouldn’t have any fines from phosphors discharge. . . I think that’s a good idea if you guys do that. It’s not going to cost you anything more, if anything it’s going to save you a few bucks on fines.”

The village will trial run RE300 for the next 120 days, at a cost of $10,000.

Village to rehab wells

Voss informed the board that Wells 3, 4, 12 and 13 are decreasing in capacity, which is caused by particle obstructions clogging up pores that the water flows into.

Voss told the board that rehabbing will not bring the wells up to 100 percent of the capacity they were at when first constructed. Based on measurements, it appears that the water table has dropped slightly, with less water provided to the wells as a result of the aquifer being depleted.

On the recommendation of Voss, the board approved a motion to accept a $29,000 proposal from CTW Corporation to rehab wells 12 and 13, with wells 3 and 4 to be rehabbed at a further time as the village’s budget allows.

DPW Larry Swarr said CTW will attempt to use a chemical treatment to kill bacteria, which should improve the wells longevity.

“I think CTW, we should give them a chance, and they’re the cheapest,” board president Randy Busse said. “I like that approach of treating it and trying to kill the bacteria and see if that can keep [the wells] going longer.”

_ The board approved a resolution allowing the reapporation of $500,000 in proprietary funds from the water utility account to the sewer utility account.

_ The board approved a motion to add clerk-in-training Carol Devine’s name to all CDs, checking/savings bank accounts at Citizens State Bank in Loyal and AbbyBank.

_ A motion was passed to allow Colby Excavating to dredge the water on both sides of North Meridian Street at a cost of $750.

_ The board approved a motion to spend up to $1,000 for the cost of a well abandonment project at the Curtiss Community Center.