The final stretch installing the loop of 12- and 16-inch water mains around the city is about to start. Rauch said 11,000 feet of pipe have been stockpiled by the water tower behind Lowe's. Southard Construction will run the main south on Chapell Drive, west to Waldensian Road and across the Church of the Nazarene property to Mogue Road.
Rauch had preliminary engineering drawings for the water treatment plant, which is planned for the old Rutherford farm. The plant will be built to take the muddiness out of the city's two largest producing wells, #12 by North Park, #9 on West County Street and the newest well on the Jack Henry and Associates campus.
The plant will be located on a 32-acre piece of property west of Eisenhower and the soccer practice fields and south of the Jehovah's Witnesses meeting hall. Significant earthmoving work will be needed to level the site and raise it above the flood plain.
Construction will take around 18 months. Rauch expected ground will be broken in September after calling for bids in June. He anticipated the plant will go into service in early 2014.
The design includes a large structure for treatment on the north end of the property with a concrete tank covered by a dome lid 80 feet in diameter. Two settling tanks will be located on the south end where silt from the muddy water will be deposited. The treated water will go into the city's system, while water from the settling tanks can be decanted into the sewer system.
The single-stage purifying process can be expanded by adding a second stage to treat surface water. Rauch said at some point the city will likely want to expand its system to make creek water potable, like Joplin, which draws its drinking water from Spring River. A second building housing another treatment stage can be added west of the main treatment building.
Expansion of the water main network to supply the new treatment plant has been funded by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act bonds. Because city crews have installed most of the pipes, there will be $500,000 in bond money left over.
Rauch said the funds could be used to begin laying pipe to the airport. The well at the airport has a capacity for 250,000 gallons a minute but only has a pump drawing less than 100 gallons a minute. The well could be added to the city's system and supply the Monett Industrial Development Corporation's industrial park east of the airport, where a water tower could be built on the east end, away from runway traffic.
The city has only secured some of the easements needed to extend the water main west to the airport, and all of those are on the south side of Highway 60. Rauch said much of the pipe can be laid in highway right-of-way, requiring no additional agreements.
Advisory committee members asked about Rauch's plans to take out the 400,000-gallon water tower at South Park beside the City Park Casino. Rauch said the city's biggest producing wells have to run continuously. Turning them off briefly can result in muddiness that can take weeks to clear.
On weekends, when industrial users reduce operations, the big wells can overflow the water towers and standpipes. The South Park water tower catches the potential overflow, backfilling off city pressure. Rauch said he would like to keep the old tower in place until the new treatment plant is ready.
Mayor Jim Orr said Monett's industrial users have reduced their water use over time. Rauch said evidence of that can be seen at the golf course, where a measuring well monitors the level of the water table. The water table was 350 feet lower in 1966, when the monitor well was installed, than it is now.
Advisory board member Ralph Scott praised the council members for their foresight in taking steps to preserve and maintain the city's water supply. With the city's industry relying heavily on water, Scott said the city's emphasis on infrastructure development assures the community's continued prosperity.