Crothersville Town Council approves water department requests



Improvements will be made this year to allow Crothersville Utilities’ water department to continue to run efficiently.

During a recent town council meeting, members voted 4-0 to approve updating the wellhead protection program, cleaning the town’s wells and installing new chlorine scales. Councilwoman Katie Masters was absent.

Water Superintendent Chris Mains said every five years, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires an update of the wellhead protection program.

“Basically, the program covers our wells in case there’s a spill and chemical gets in the wells and what we need to do to take care of that situation,” he said.

The update includes listing the town council members, fire chief and county officials.

The council agreed to pay Midwest Water Resources of Springfield, Ohio, $700 to do the update. Mains said that company has helped with the last two wellhead protection updates.

“It’s not technically due until Oct. 5 of this year, but that’s one I would just like to knock out of the way, it’s done and we don’t have to worry about it,” Mains said.

Chemically cleaning the town’s three wells is common policy every five years, too, Mains said.

“We’ve got a lot of hard water in Crothersville,” he said. “Our wells, they are about 60 feet deep. They have a screen at the bottom of them. Over time, the lime, manganese, all of that stuff builds up around the screen, our well production starts to drop, so typically, every five years, we have them cleaned.”

Mains received quotes of $8,450 per well from Bastin Logan Water Services Inc. of Franklin and $10,550 per well from National Water Service LLC of Paoli.

The latter company also had an additional cost of $600 to run a camera down the pipe to make sure nothing is cracked or broken. Bastin Logan did not include a cost for camera work, but Mains said the company offers that service.

“I do recommend that we camera it for either case because it’s going to pick up stuff that they are not going to be able to see,” Mains said.

He said both companies have worked in the town in the past, but National Water Service installed all three wells and has a lot of information about them.

For those reasons, despite the higher cost, the council approved going with National Water Service.

“Sometimes, it’s best to spend the extra $2,000 and have somebody that knows,” council President Danieta Foster said.

Mains said the work is crucial because one of the wells currently is out of service.

“It’s breaking suction, so we’re not getting that influent of water coming in to be able to even operate that well,” he said. “That is something we need to look at pretty quick because if we go down another well, we’re going to be on either Jackson County (Water Utility) or Stucker Fork (Water Utility) until we get that fixed.”

Councilman Jason Hillenburg asked if cleaning will help the well that’s down.

“That’s the only way we’re going to be able to find out is getting down there and seeing what’s going on because right now, we don’t even know why it’s breaking suction,” Mains said. “The only thing I can think is the screen is clogged, water can’t get in, and so when we’re pumping, it just gets ahead, shuts the well down, so I can’t even run it.”

He said there could be an additional cost if something is wrong in the well.

“If the casing is broke and it’s pulling in sand or whatever, there could be an additional cost, there’s no doubt about it, but we won’t know until we go in and clean and see what’s going on,” Mains said.

One well will be cleaned at a time.

“As long as nothing major is wrong, it will go back into service the same day,” Mains said.

Councilman Jamy Greathouse asked if the water supply would be affected on the days they are cleaned.

“I will pump ahead, get the (water) tower full and we’ll be fine,” Mains said. “One well will be out at a time, so we can operate that way.”

Finally, Chlorination Co. Inc. of Salem was hired to remove the current chlorine scales and set up new ones for $2,260. Water Solutions Unlimited of Camby submitted a bid of $1,900.

Again, the council chose the higher quote because it includes removal of the old scales and installation of the new ones. Water Solutions Unlimited did not offer removal.

Foster asked if town employees could install the scales. Mains said they could, but it’s dangerous and would take at least two people.

“There’s a lot to it. It’s not just throwing a set of scales in there. There’s a lot of hookups for your chlorine feed and water coming in,” Mains said. “Chlorine is a little tricky, so it would be nice if (the company) could do it.”

Mains said the scales have been in place since the water plant was built in the mid-1990s.

“If anybody knows anything about chlorine, it eats up everything,” he said. “Right now, the scales are showing empty, but they are not. We are still pumping chlorine, but I have no way of knowing because our scales, the chlorine just ate them up.”

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