Plover plans well, treatment plant updates
The Plover Village Board Wednesday, July 20, approved a Water Supply and Treatment Systems Master Plan that would include upgrades, capping water pumping from wells and potentially building a new well.
Well casing repairs, out-of-date parts to repair issues at the treatment plants, new technology and the impacts with high-capacity wells all prompted village officials to review the plan and look at the future of village water, Administrator Dan Mahoney said.
“This was a perfect opportunity to look at water system long-term needs and well options,” he said.
The master plan study identified more than $12.4 million in improvements for the Capital Improvements Plan, which stretches out to the year 2040. The plan is broken down into three parts with options for the next five years, then mid-term improvements through 2030, and then long-range plans that will go out to 2040.
Mahoney said the necessary improvements would not increase rates.
“We’re looking at significant improvements, but we won’t need to raise our water rates for them,” he said. “We’re nearing the end of our (previous water) debt service, so the debt payments moving ahead won’t be there, and we can turn those into new payments with no impact on the user rates.”
In the next five years, $4.4 million in improvements have been identified, a little less than half of that in the form of updates to wells 1 and 2, updates to the operations building, Water Way Treatment Plant repairs, new nitrate systems for wells 1 and 2, well 3 water treatment plant updates, and the addition of a bulk water filling station.
The largest repair ticket in that list is the new nitrate systems, which come in at nearly $1.5 million. The existing system is wrought with concerns on the operations of the carousel and pumping systems. New equipment to the tune of about $980,000 is recommended.
Construction of a fourth well, at a more than $2.3 million cost, also is included in the short-term improvements, but is dependent upon industrial demand.
“It could happen in 2017, it could be in 2037,” Mahoney said. “The key information is from today’s pumping to 1.6 million gallons more, we’re adequate. When we get there (1.6 million gallons more) we’ll need to get a new well in place.”
Eight criteria are outlined in the plan to be used in determining the location of that well, which previously had been proposed near well 3.
The village also decided to institute a day-to-day gallon usage cap on wells 1 and 2, so “no matter how much our production increases, it has to come from other wells,” he said. That will help set the amount of water the village is removing from the Little Plover River aquifer, which will help prevent drawdown from the river.
Currently, the village uses a percentage system, but it doesn’t necessarily reduce the amount of pumping from one well or another, Mahoney said.
A new bulk water filling station costs about $28,000, but would be a very handy item since the village averages about five requests for bulk water a week during summer months and does see several requests throughout the rest of the year. Mahoney pointed to Stevens Point’s bulk filling system as an example of how well the station could work.
Two other items listed in mid-term and long-term improvements are development of the 140 acres of conservancy area and land purchase for the wetland mitigation area. Both are options that will need to be looked at more closely and further down the road.
The master plan is a guide for the future, and should expect to change since it is based on population projections that include business and industry growth and development and the commercial use of the village’s water.
Based on that estimated growth, the study projects the water requirements in the village will jump from 1.18 million gallons per day now (430 million gallons a year) to 2.36 million gallons per day (861 million gallons a year), or a 180 percent increase.
About 18 percent of the village’s water per year is used by four businesses and one apartment complex; the top 10 users account for 22 percent of the use per year.