Water plant, main work continues

Photos by Marlena Sloss/The Herald
Sludge basins sit in front of new sludge tanks under construction at the City of Huntingburg Water Treatment Facility on Wednesday. A new solar field will be built beyond the tanks as part of the facility's expansion and upgrading project. "This will take us into the future," said Chief Operator Gregg Miller.


HUNTINGBURG — Work on the water main along U.S. 231 in Huntingburg is getting close to being done. And work at the water plant will cost a little less than originally thought.

Water Superintendent Gary Meyerholtz and John Wetzel of Midwestern Engineers gave the Huntingburg Common Council an update on the projects Tuesday evening.

Crews are in the process of switching customers on U.S. 231 north of State Road 64 from the old water line to the new one. With that, Councilman Glenn Kissling asked about the water that is on U.S. 231 north of the railroad tracks; he has gotten questions about that, he said.

“I assured them that we do not have a water leak,” he said.

Meyerholtz said that it is a valve stem on the old line that is leaking. It would cost about $20,000 to fix. He’d rather spend that kind of money “for something that’s going to be killed in the next month.”

Once the customers are switched to the new line, the old line will be put out of commission.

The new valve at U.S. 231 and Main Street is in operation, he said, though work needs to be done so that it can be open and closed automatically from the plant.

Construction workers lay concrete for a walkway above new water basins inside the City of Huntingburg Water Treatment Facility on Wednesday.

The main project will not be completed by November as originally planned, Wetzel said. Some line and sidewalk work still needs to be done. About 100 feet of pipe still needs to be installed at 12th Street and U.S. 231 as well as boring work under 231 and 14th Street, he said. Asphalt work needs to be finished by Chestnut and Maple streets and grading by the new sidewalk in that area must also be done.

Wetzel is hopeful the work will be completed by the end of this year, he said.

At the water plant, contractor Reynolds Construction is working to get outside areas complete and closed before bad weather hits. The upgrades for the plant include redoing the chemical feed systems and adding a new intake pump station, new piping, a salt storage space, new walkways inside the building and two backwash tanks. That part of the project is due to be complete in the spring.

“The construction at the plant has gone pretty smoothly,” Wetzel told the council.

Project planning has resulted in deductions to the project cost, which the council approved in change orders. The biggest cost reduction was discovering that a 12-inch water line did not have to be relocated to accommodate the new water pump station, Wetzel explained. That resulted in a deduction of about $30,000, he said.

None of the changes or deductions will compromise the final quality of the project, Wetzel said.

The council also:

• Approved an ordinance to eliminate parking on the west side of Geiger Street 85 feet south of Fourth Street.

• Accepted the $28,229 rebate from PEFA Gas. That will be passed on the utility customers by applying it to the rate tracker, the council determined.

• Heard from Clerk-Treasurer Tom Dippel that $18,908 in old utility debts was collected this year; last year’s total was $7,677.

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