City Council Plans Water Treatment Plant

9 Feb

The Morgantown City Council met last Tuesday evening at the Morgantown Municipal Courthouse to discuss hot topics and future plans surrounding the city of Morgantown. This past week, there were a number of important debates that arose from the city’s agenda.

The debates ranged from problems with snow removal from the big snow storm earlier in the year, to what the city will be doing to recognize black history month, to issues surrounding clean water in Morgantown and the who, what, where, when, why details on a creating a new water treatment plant.

The debate over the water treatment plant in my opinion was the hottest topic of debate. With everything going on in this country surrounding the importance of clean water, and with the Flint, Michigan disaster, the city of Morgantown wants to make sure that they never fall victim to a terrible water disaster.

Right now, the current water treatment system was implemented 35 years ago and is only supposed to be used for 25 years. This means that the current water system is essentially 10 years past it’s expiration date.

I sat down with Bill Kawecki, the Second Ward Council and Deputy Mayor, and this is what he was able to tell me about the problems and current state of the systems we have in place now.

“In an older system, what we have is a mixture of both down spouts from normal runoff plus sewage. That taxes our ability to process the sewage correctly. Whatever is left over is in the [Monongahela] river. When it rains too hard we get too much liquid to process and manage. This gives us extra capacity.”

Basically, due to the high amounts of precipitation in the past couple of years, the capacity of the sewage treatment plants has been dangerously close to full. This results in less of the water that passes through the plant getting fully treated. The controversy here though is not whether or not the city needs it, but rather how and where the city is going to make the changes.

“The controversy is how we approach it and what it is going to cost. The difficulty is that is that there are people adjacent to the reservoir. It is our intention to do this in a proper manner.” Kawecki continued to explain to me.

How the new plans would effect the eco-system, nature, and the land weren’t the only concern of the new plant though. Morgantown has consistently had one of the cheapest water bills in the state; but Kawekci says the new plant wont effect those low prices very much at all.

“We were the lowest cost for water in the state of West Virginia. Now, we are moving from the lowest cost to the fourth-lowest cost. We are still pretty much a bargain.”

The city council also promised that any damages made on any property during the project will be carefully restored back to it’s original state upon completion of the new treatment plant and reservoir.


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