At the recent city council meeting, Public Works Director Todd Uhl brought the council up to date on the study that has been done be DGR Engineering. Uhl reported that phase one of the study consisted of data collection on the system. This included efficiency of the pumps, flow testing at 42 locations and a data recorder at the base of the tower. From this, DGR has developed a model showing the strengths and weaknesses of the water supply system in the city. Uhl commented that there were no huge surprises in the report, but now they can improve the supply in an area of the city by contacting DGR to find out what it will take to make that improvement.
Phase two of the study should be done by October. This will address water use projections for the future, the type of storage that will be needed and other options to improve the system. He told the council that the work the City has done in recent years to ‘loop’ areas of supply together has been helpful.
In answer to a question from a council member Uhl said that the City has a sufficient supply of water, but they still need to use a high percentage of deep well water which has a high degree of hardness. He pointed out that in the drought year of 2012 Sheldon’s water supply contained 25 grains of hardness compared to 50 grains at the present time. Recent rains have not been sufficient to make much of a difference in the water available from the shallow wells.
Uhl also reported on improvements being made at the Waste Water Treatment Plant. DGR Engineering has estimated these improvements will cost $84,100 which is slightly under the budgeted amount of $86,000.