CEDAR BLUFFS – The Village of Cedar Bluffs is eyeing its options for a reliable water supply.
Cedar Bluffs Utilities Superintendent Matt Baker reported issues started about five years ago, when one of the village’s two wells tested high for arsenic.
Eventually, the arsenic level came down and current testing is not indicating an immediate action.
“Since then, both have been holding steady,” Baker said.
But if a spike happens again, he said the village could be faced with having to shut down one of its two wells.
To avoid the potential consequences of losing a well, the decision was made two years ago by the Village Board of Trustees to begin searching for another water source. The board has been working with engineering consultants from Olsson to come up with alternatives.
The village board hosted an informational meeting June 18 to discuss options with town residents.
About 16 Cedar Bluffs residents attended last week’s meeting and one of their major questions was cost.
Village Board Chairman Chris Lichtenberg said there were five options being explored.
The village could dig a new well, build a water treatment plant, dig a well and build a treatment plant, tie the town’s water system into Fremont or tie its system to a Lower Platte North Natural Resource District’s Rural Water System in Colon.
Lichtenberg said it was too early yet to have specific costs for each of the options.
“It’s tough to get fine-tuned numbers until we start with the actual bids,” he said.
There have been some rough estimates developed. Although those dollar estimates were not presented last week, he said hooking the village’s water to that of Fremont would technically be the most expensive option.
Due to grant funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, all programs are still on an even playing field.
“Hooking to another system also gives more in grant money,” Lichtenberg said.
The options of water treatment plants also had its concerns. Maintenance, cost of chemicals and life expectancy of the plant were all major concerns that would need to be taken into account.
No matter which option is selected, some funding would be needed from the villages own accounts. Lichtenberg said there could be some funding available from a state revolving fund, if a type of treatment plant was chosen.
At this point, no decisions have been made. Last week’s meeting was to generate interest in the topic among community members.
“We’re still pursuing all options for the best fit for Cedar Bluffs,” Lichtenberg said.
Baker said all options will be pursued for more information. Regardless the option chosen, he said it will take some time to get the project underway.
“We’re probably about two years out,” Baker said.
At this point, there’s no deadline to be met, but Baker said the board had decided to begin now to get ahead of the game.