Village continues work to reduce radium
Village of Sussex — Village officials have completed another step in what is expected to be a nearly two year process to reduce the radium level in a water well.
The Village Board recently approved a consulting grant for $49,700 to SEH Inc. to design a treatment system for well No. 4 and prepare the construction plans and specifications so the estimated $1.4 million to $1.8 million project can be submitted for competitive construction bids in mid 2014.
Construction and installation of the equipment for the treatment system will take approximately 10 months after the bid is awarded, according to Judith Neu, village engineer.
The village plans to use a Hydrous Manganese Oxide (HMO) treatment system that will be designed to serve both wells, No. 3 on Lilac Avenue and No. 4 in Weaver Park on Maple Avenue, according to Neu.
Design plans and specifications are expected to be completed and submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources by mid February if no pilot study for the project is required by DNR, according to Neu.
However, if a pilot study is required, the completion of the plans could be delayed about 90 days or more in order to obtain test results and submit them for DNR approval, Neu added.
"We are hopeful that bidding can take place in March, but it could be delayed. After a contractor has been selected, we will hold a neighborhood meeting to explain the project. We expect that construction will start either late next summer or early in the fall, depending on when we bid the project. Construction will likely take about 10 months," Neu recently told the village board.
The water in well No. 4 is "slightly" above minimum radium levels permitted by the state. The village anticipates there is a possibility that well No. 3 will eventually also exceed permitted state levels, according to Neu.
Neu said when, and if, radium levels are exceeded in well No. 3, the water pumped by that well will be sent to well No. 4 for treatment, Neu said.
Neu also told village trustees that there is a possibility that a state loan program could help pay for the project. She explained that DNR has a program that helps municipalities pay for such projects by loaning the municipality funds. In some cases, DNR has offered applicants up 30 percent loan forgiveness for the project, she said.
Neu said applications for the loans must be submitted by June of 2014. She suggested the Village Board approve the loan application with the understanding that the board could decline the loan if it were awarded by the department. Village trustees concurred with her request and approved the loan.
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