Carroll-Boone generator kept water coming during storm

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

EUREKA SPRINGS -- For those who could get city water during the recent ice storm, the Carroll-Boone Water District (CBWD) kept it coming -- with a generator.

"We were out of power for 52 hours," Plant Manager John Summers reported to the board at their quarterly meeting Thursday. "We ran the diesel generator until Thursday (Jan. 29), and maintained the water supply with one generator. We used 1,800 gallons of diesel fuel, at a cost of $3,500."

The water district normally has generator backup year-round because of a practice called "load-shedding," when they disconnect from electrical service during times of peak usage in the summer and run on generators to keep costs down.

Summers said that Eureka Springs lost power to its east pumping station, so CBWD could only give them line pressure in the Passion Play area until power was restored. He said Eureka has no generators, but the west station never lost power.

Summers said the cities should have generators for its pumps and said a 2,500 kw generator would run one pump.

Office Manager Jim Allison commended all the employees for getting to work during the storm.

The board discussed the engineering services contract with McGoodwin, Williams & Yates (MWY) for the upcoming project of constructing a 400-foot parallel water line at the Kings River crossing.

One issue for the district is whether MWY can agree to have enough oversight of the project so that inspection can occur during the laying of the pipe. The original pipeline has had numerous breaks at various locations when backfill rocks were too large to keep from puncturing the line during times of shifting.

The district's attorney, Dan Bowers, expressed concern about the limitations of the contract.

"They say they'll have a representative visit the site, but it's not constant," he said. The contract is written so that it "does not require them to be present for every inch laid."

"Well, I don't know how much these statements will have on a legal claim," said Chairman James Yates. "Not having people out there has been a problem in the past."

Brad Hammond, engineer with MWY, said this project should not be of much concern in this regard because there is only a 400-foot stretch that can be easily inspected when the line is going to be trenched on either bank. The plan is to lay a 42-inch ductile iron pipe inside a 60-inch ductile iron casing. The line will have to be bored through solid rock because of its location.

He said they would do everything in their power to make sure the job is done right, and the district has some options to help ensure that. One is to request an extended warranty to two years. Standard performance bonds have a one-year maintenance warranty built in, he said. It would increase the cost of the bond by only one percent, and it would discourage contractors with a poor history from bidding.

He said MWY could also prequalify contractors, but they usually do that on larger projects.

The board approved a motion to go forward with the bid for the work, which will cost $61,000 for the design and bidding portion, with the construction cost to be determined. Yates wanted it noted in the minutes that "we've stated we are concerned about our prior project not having proper bedding and that we expressed our concerns to the engineers prior to approving the contract."

In other business, CBWD:

* Appointed a committee consisting of board member Mark Billings, Allison and Summers, along with Bowers, to review insurance proposals and choose which brokers will make presentations to the board.

* Approved a formal engineering contract with MWY for $75,000 for repainting the Pine Mountain storage tank.

* Approved an engineering contract with MWY for an estimate of $19,800 to repaint the east side clarifier.

The board's next regularly scheduled meeting is April 30 at 10 a.m. at the Freeman-Raney Water Treatment Plant.

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