City of New Albany moves forward with $3 million in water system improvements

The New Albany Board of Aldermen voted Tuesday to move ahead on a proposal to add two production wells, create a pressure zone on the east side of the city and begin replacing 100-year-old piping in the north part of the city as part of improving the city’s water system.

Bill Mattox, manager of New Albany’s Light, Gas & Water, along with an engineer with Engineering Solutions, Inc. of Tupelo presented the proposal to the board at an estimated cost of $2.95 million.
Mattox said the new proposal came out of results found in a hydraulic test performed on the water system.
“The test pointed out the weak points in our system,” Mattox said.  “It told us that we need to add two production wells in order to provide ample water for existing customer base and to allow for future growth. This increase in our capacity would help us adequately meet state guidelines.”
Mattox said that the test also showed pressure issues on the east side of the city.
“The east side of the city, generally east of Highway 15, lies on an elevated area,”  Mattox said.  “It is the highest elevation area in the city.  Because of that, we have issues with low water pressure.”
Mattox proposed that an elevated storage tank that can hold up to 250,000 gallons, as well as a 500-gallon per minute pumping station, be constructed to create a pressure zone, providing adequate supply to the area.
“These items would be a majority of the cost for this project,” Mattox said.  “We would also like to find funding for the initial phase of replacing cast iron pipes in the northern part of the city, specifically those pipes with a particularly high concentration of manganese, which would not be easily cleaned out.”
Mattox said he, in cooperation with Engineering Solutions and Three Rivers Planning and Development, plan to seek out community block grants to help in the funding of the project.
“We will have to through an environmental study on the project first, which will likely take about six months,” Mattox said.
The search process for funding will likely take until the end of this year, he said.
Mattox went on to say that field work will likely start on the project in the 1st quarter of 2013 and plans are to complete it by the end of 2013.