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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • BPW: Leaking water at water plant not major issue

  • With the city of Hannibal’s recent water crisis still fresh in his mind, a resident out walking his dogs Tuesday morning was alarmed when he noticed water flowing from a hillside next to a water-filled basin at the Water Filter Plant in Riverview Park.
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  • With the city of Hannibal’s recent water crisis still fresh in his mind, a resident out walking his dogs Tuesday morning was alarmed when he noticed water flowing from a hillside next to a water-filled basin at the Water Filter Plant in Riverview Park.
    After flagging down a police officer to report the situation, the individual called the Courier-Post to express concerns about the potential of something “catastrophic” happening that could put the city’s water supply in jeopardy again.
    Contacted about the hillside leak, Bob Stevenson, general manager of the Board of Public Works, stressed that there is no “crisis.”
    “The water is really leaking from the concrete settling basin through cracks in the wall,” explained Stevenson in an e-mail to the HCP. “This leak only manifests itself when plant operators fill the basin over a certain level. Some operators prefer a higher level to keep as much water as possible in the system as insurance against a raw water pump failure.”
    The issue is not a recent development, according to Stevenson.
    “This leak has existed for at least a decade and has not gotten any worse in that time,” he said, adding that the BPW is “not going to respond with any work at this time.”
    “This leak is repairable from inside the basin if it were drained and dry,” said Stevenson. “Outages on the basin are very difficult to schedule and must be kept as short as possible. We have chosen to forego repairing this leak to keep basin outages as short as possible.”
    A project is in the works that will allow the BPW to address the leak.
    “As part of the capital improvements being designed now and which voters authorized last fall, we are including a bypass pipe that will allow us to take this basin out of service to make such repairs while using another basin for primary settling,” said Stevenson. “We should be able then in the future to schedule a more lengthy basin outage to make this repair and several others you do not know about.”
    The BPW expects to take bids for the improvements this fall. The bypass pipe could be installed this winter or next spring.
    “An appropriate basin outage may be a year away or a little longer,” said Stevenson.
    Stevenson reports the cost of the bypass pipe that is needed to repair the leak will run in the neighborhood of $500,000.
    “After the pipe is in place the actual repair will only be a few thousand dollars,” he said.
    Page 2 of 2 - BPW customers shouldn’t notice when the upcoming work takes place.
    “If things go as planned there will be no disruption to water service,” said Stevenson.

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