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Whipping the water woes
In Mar. 20-26 issue
By Derek Aaron
Times Journal Reporter

ABOVE - Work progresses on the Jamestown Water Plant, located off Greasy Creek. The expansion is expected to be completed by December of this year.

JAMESTOWN - Jamestown's water treatment plant suffered a rupture in its main intake line just after midnight on Sunday resulting in a water conservation advisory, according to Mayor Brooks Bates.

Residents were asked to not use any more water than absolutely necessary until repair was completed. The break in the line even sent workers from Fruit of the Loom, the county's largest water consumer, home early Sunday, workers said.

Fruit of the Loom uses around 1.2 million gallons of water per day while the city of Russell Springs uses just over 1 million gallons per day.

Jamestown Public Works Director Ottis Skaggs said. Russell Springs, which uses around 30 million gallons per month, pays Jamestown $13,935 monthly for water service.

The main intake pumps water from Greasy Creek on Lake Cumberland to the treatment plant in Jamestown and supplies water to both Jamestown and Russell Springs, as well as Adair County and portions of eastern Casey County.

The mayor said city water department employees with construction personnel from Ohio worked through Sunday to get the intake repaired. The Ohio crew was in Jamestown working on the water plant expansion, the mayor said. The water treatment plant is now back in full force as the rupture was repaired Sunday afternoon.

All the while the expansion on the treatment plant continues; Skaggs said the job should be completed by December of this year. Originally supposed to be completed in August, work has been running behind schedule. Skaggs hopes to see the pace pick up as spring begins.

"They've brought in an extra crane and another assistant superintendent and are working 'five-10's' (five days a week at 10 hours a day)," he said. "They were working 'four-10's,' to try and get it back on schedule." Bates said the city has been persistent in trying to get work on the plant's expansion caught up to where it needs to be.

The $13.3 million expansion on the plant began in 2004 when funding started to become available. Originally, the expansion price was around $9 million but has since went up $4 million.

The water treatment plant uses the less-conventional membrane filters rather than sand-based filters, according to Skaggs.

"The reason we had to go that was to meet the criteria the state and EPA had put on the water standards," Skaggs said.

When completed the water treatment plant will be a six million gallon-a-day plant, Bates said.

"Right now we're at 3.6 (million gallons per day)," Skaggs said.

The under construction $3.3 million "raw" water intake system was needed to be built when the Corps of Engineers announced the lowering of the water level of Lake Cumberland from 720 feet above sea level to 680 ft to allow construction work on leaky Wolf Creek Dam.

"This endangered our source of water out of Greasy Creek and we had had to move up our intakes a minimum of 8,000 feet," Bates said.

Skaggs said the intake should be completed by the end of the this month or the first of April. The intake was first slated to be completed last December but Bates said work wasn't started on schedule because of some "kinks" that still had to be ironed out.

Originally, Jamestown was going to have to borrow $850,000 pf the $3.3 million to go toward the project but Bates said with former Gov. Ernie Fletcher's help, the state government assumed all costs. The project is being paid for by grants, the mayor said.

The contract to begin construction on the "raw" water intake system was awarded to Smith's Contracting and Reynold's Inc. in September of last year.

The purpose, Skaggs said, for the new intake is if the lake has to be lowered again, even at 650 feet, there will be no hardship in obtaining water out of the lake.

If the lake was lowered any more before the intake is completed, Skaggs said the intakes wouldn't be able to pump any water out of the lake. But he noted this isn't expected to occur unless under emergency circumstances.

With the new floating intake, there will be two in operation and one in reserve. Skaggs said both intakes, the current one and the one under construction, can both be used simultaneously, if needed.

The new emergency "raw" intake will have to be removed when the dam work is completed and the lake is raised again, Skaggs said.
o Skaggs said the Jamestown water tower on Bernard Ridge near Stephen's Pipe & Steel would soon begin seeing some repair.

He said specifications are out there and should be released by the first of April for bids.

"Really its routine maintenance but we had a hole to come in it and I got to looking at it quicker," Skaggs said. "We repaired the hole and put it back in service and now we're going to go in and sandblast it and paint it."

He said this type of repair is made every 10-12 years. If the tower wasn't repaired, Skaggs said there would be a loss of water pressure in the Pleasant Hill area.

Skaggs said no other towers within the next year or so would need any sort of maintenance.

The cost of a new replacement tower is around $500,000 for a 100,000-gallon tank, the capacity of the faulty Bernard Ridge water tower. There are seven water towers in the county.

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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Phone: 270-866-3191
Fax: 270-866-3198
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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