THE LAKE 940 AUDIO: Mike Roberts talks to Webster Water Superintendent Greg Woods and Town Administrator Doug Willardson about the groundbreaking for the new water filtration plant and water rate increases.
When people talk about Webster, the first thing that usually comes up is “that lake with the really long name,” but lately it is beginning to get the reputation of the “town with the dirty water.”
Town Administrator Doug Willardson, the Board Of Selectmen, and Water Superintendent Greg Woods have been working very hard to change that.
Brown or discolored water is being blamed on pipes that are close to 100 years old, with a backup of iron and manganese that is used to control bacteria levels.
If you have ruined a load of laundry or couldn’t tell if your brown water was actually coffee, the fixes to the water problems can’t come soon enough. Town officials tell us that a plan is in place, and groundbreaking for a new town-wide filtration plant was just done on Saturday.
The $10 million plant should be complete and online in the next 12 to 14 months, but even with all that fancy new equipment and clean water, the pipes are still old and dirty.
Water Superintendent Greg Woods tells THE LAKE 940, “the water is going to come out of that plant is almost crystal clear” and the goal is to re-line or replace the old water mains. He adds, “Even if we had perfectly clean water, we still have an infrastructure that needs to be maintained.” Once the pipes are cleaned and re-lined, at the cost of $1 million dollars per mile, they will be able to be used for another 70 to 80 years.
Town Administrator Doug Willardson tells THE LAKE 940, “I feel like people are definitely understanding we have a need and we need funding to make it work.” The town is trying to make everyone happy by not putting the all of the expenses on the water users and rate payers. “Luckily we’re not arguing that it needs to be done, we’re arguing about the best way to fund it.”
In addition to a 2 percent rate increase, a capital improvement fee of $20 per quarter, or $80 per year will be added on to your water bill. If you think about all of your monthly expenses, this really is a small price to pay for fresh drinking water.
The Board of Selectmen will be holding a meeting at Town Hall on Monday night, April 30th at 6PM to further discuss the fiscal year 2019 water and sewer rates. Water Superintendent Woods will answer any questions and address any concerns you may have. The meeting is open to the public and all are invited to attend.