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Berm, radial pumps to be built at Newton Water Treatment Facility

Published: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 11:31 a.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 11:32 a.m. CST

The state of Iowa has seen its fair share of floods with record depths in 1993, 2008 and 2010. The flood damage that has occurred in recent years has made the community eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to build a berm to protect against any flooding that could possibly occur in the future.

A berm is a level space, shelf or raised barrier separating two areas. It can serve as a border barrier. The berm will be created by dirt and concrete from the Newton Landfill, which will be purchased by the Water Treatment facility for $20,000. The contract for the project has not been signed as of yet, as it’s still in the bidding stage. The amount of dirt will consist of 1,500 full-size dump truck loads.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $865,000. FEMA will fund 75 percent of the project, which totals $648,750. Iowa Homeland Security will fund 10 percent of the project, which totals $86,500. The remaining 15 percent will be from the local treatment budget, totaling $129,750. At this point, it has yet to be determined if customers will see an increase in water bills.

“It’s one of those big-money projects that will save us money in the long run,” manager of Newton Water Works L.D. Palmer said.

The water treatment board is also doing a study on replacing the vertical pumps in the well field, as the wells date back to ’50s and ’60s. The pumps may be replaced by a radial collector well that could pump 2,000 to 3,000 gallons of water a minute.

The vertical pumps currently are operational at a rate of 300 to 1,000 gallons per minute. The well replacement project is still in the study stage and is being conducted by Layne, is a global water management, construction and drilling company providing solutions for water, mineral and energy resources..

“The replacement will assure a plentiful water supply to the communities that we serve,” Palmer said.

Staff writer Zach Johnson may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at zjohnson@newtondailynews.com.