Filtration System Arrives at Baker Water Treatment Plant

A $1 million raw water filtration system has been delivered to the Baker Water Treatment facility and will be installed in the coming weeks. This according to Logan Moyers, executive director of the Hardy County Public Service District.

“We anticipate startup to be the week of November 9,” Moyers told the PSD Board of Directors. “People from Ixom will be here that week to provide training.”

The PSD board met on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

“Today, they completed the power upgrade,” he said. “The contractor has done an excellent job. We really enjoy working with Breckenridge Construction. They actually built the water plant 10 years ago.”

In addition to the filtration system, a water mixing system was installed in the water tank. A $4,000 valve enabled the mixing system to be installed without turning off the water to the Baker community.

“This valve allowed us to maintain pressure in the system, while the tank was drained,” Moyers said. “Without it, we would have had to turn the water off for two days. Neither the nursing home, nor the schools would have been able to function, so we really didn’t want to do that.”

The upgrades to the Baker water treatment plant are necessary to address an unacceptable level of disinfection by-products, which are created when chlorine reacts with organic matter in the raw water. 

The PSD piloted equipment distributed by Ixom, an Australian company with offices in Denver, Col. MEIX is the manufacturer of the equipment.

The equipment removed the organic material from the raw water before it was treated with chlorine, and therefore reduced the disinfection by-products to acceptable levels. 

The PSD board approved two change orders to the original contract. 

Change Order #1, for $8,885 included ventilation equipment installed in the existing clear well.

Change Order #2, $3,939 for the valve to install the mixing system in the clean water tank. 

New PSD Facility

Moyers said he anticipates the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s approval of the environmental review of the new facility property to be complete at any time. The property is located in the Robert C. Byrd Industrial Park. 

A new PSD facility is being considered because severe flooding damaged the existing building and garage in 2018. The PSD has been operating in mobile offices since then.

“As soon as we have the clearance, I’d like to move ahead with the purchase of the property from the RDA,” Moyers said.

The Hardy County Rural Development Authority owns the property in the RCB Industrial Park.

Moyers said he understands construction costs are high and lumber prices are at an all-time high. “We probably won’t bid until Spring 2021, so maybe the industry will be more stable,” he said.

The board voted to allow Moyers to proceed with purchase of the property when the FEMA review is complete. 

COVID Operations

Since mid-March, the PSD office has been closed to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers can pay via phone, internet or mail and there is a drop box at the office. Customers who need face-to-face assistance have been scheduling appointments. 

“We believe this system is working well,” he said. “If there needs to be a face-to-face discussion, an appointment is required and masks are required. I would like to continue this.”

The board agreed.

The next meeting of the Hardy County Public Service District is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 4, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Meetings are held virtually. Call the office at 304-530-3048 for information on joining the meeting. The public is invited to participate.