Bland breaks ground on five-year plus water project

Posted 10/13/21

The city of Bland broke ground Friday on a five-year plus water project with Public Works Director Jason Lewis directing the way.

“That is as far as we have made it so far,” Lewis said …

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Bland breaks ground on five-year plus water project

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The city of Bland broke ground Friday on a five-year plus water project with Public Works Director Jason Lewis directing the way.

“That is as far as we have made it so far,” Lewis said Tuesday afternoon. “We just started cutting into pipes, putting valves in to take ground storage tanks offline so we can still use the water tower while working on the storage tanks.”

The city hired a Phoenix located in Rolla to help with the first stages of the project, digging up water lines and replacing shut-off valves so they can put the new pipes in place.

“The only issues so far have been with trying to figure out which direction the valves turn and how they work,” Lewis said. “Work started at the treatment plant next to the new firehouse on Frost Street.”

After working on Friday and Monday to cut into the pipes and install the shut-off valves, Lewis said they began Tuesday by shutting off the water to the storage tanks. However, some citizens noticed a hiccup in the processes around 8 a.m. when they had no water, according to City Clerk Diane Decker.

“This morning when I came in the phone was ringing, citizens had lots of questions about the water pressure or water not on,” Decker said Tuesday morning. “There may be changes in the water, may be changes in pressure or the water will look dirty while they are changing pipes. The water may have a smell, but it is safe to drink.”

Despite all of the warnings, Lewis said citizens should not see an interruption in water service. The small hiccup on Tuesday morning was due to confusion of which direction the existing valves should be turned in order to disconnect the water and put new valves in place. “Theoretically there should not be interference,” Lewis said. “ But I shut the whole town down this morning by accident. I was told to use that valve and it was the wrong one. It was only for a few minutes. We do chlorine treatment so we don’t need to do a boil order. No one really lost pressure. There was only one complaint, and it was from Alderman Mark Farran.”

Decker told citizens that she would try to communicate with the paper to have an updated article in each week to let them know what to expect.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” Decker said.

The water project that is set to replace 15,000 feet of waterline, 21 fire hydrants and 240 new radio read water meters in addition to a makeover of the water treatment plant throughout the city has been more than five years in the works. Maggi out of Rolla will begin digging and replacing water pipes on Thursday by digging up the street at Marvin Avenue and working towards Holt Road.

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