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Elizabethtown does have the capacity to supply the city without purchasing water from HCWD2. If you look at the revenue shortfall (which citizens recently received an 83 percent increase to offset) of $1 million per year: Also look at the amount being paid to HCWD2: 1.5 million gallons per day at $2 per thousand gallons minimum (take or pay) = $3,000 dollars per day. $3K/day x 365 days/year = $1,095,000 per year MINIMUM.
A link to the contract at the PSC website:
HCWD2 is the cause of the shortfall.
Elizabethtown can produce the 1.5 million gallons of water using the Freeman Lake Water Treatment Plant, but refuses to staff the water works. The Freeman Lake WTP has a design capacity of 3.0 million gallons per day, and the City Springs WTP has a design capacity of 3.3 million gallons per day.
The city currently employs five or six water treatment plant operators - only enough to staff one of the water treatment plants.
This leaves the city with capacity of 6.3 MGD.
How many gallons of water does the city use? How much water is being leaked in the system? Is the contract to purchase 1.5 million gallons of water daily from HCWD2 still valid? The original was signed in 1996, and stamped by the PSC in 1999 - and was an eight year agreement.
The reasoning is underthought on the part of the city. Mayor Burger and the council are happy to double our water rates - and on the back of an 83 percent increase of water and sewer rates.
Do not forget that sewer rates are based on water rates: If sewer rates are 100 percent of water rates - each and every dollar you pay for water is a dollar paid for sewer. This is likely the reason the City has stated they would "absorb any water department employees into the sewer system" - additional revenue will be gained on the sewer side from this.
HCWD2 has a base monthly rate of $18.50 for two-thousand gallons - well in excess of the current city minimum. Also: the rate for each additional 1,000 gallons is $5.15 - close to double the Elizabethtown rate for the same 1,000 gallons.
This is throwing the water customers of Elizabethtown under the bus.
Based upon the capacity of the existing water system:
*The city DOES NOT have to continue to purchase water from HCWD2,
*The city would not have to use chloramines as a disinfectant.
*Be prepared for your water and sewer bill to nearly double,
*Do not forget that the system that has been being built since 1894 at the cost of millions to the customer is being sold to HCWD2 for less than the value of the infrastructure that is visible above ground - not counting the hundreds of miles of water mains, valves, and pumping stations that you cannot see.
Another point to disagree with using chloramines as a disinfectant: Chloramines are a far weaker disinfectant than chlorine - actually 100 times weaker. Chlorine can kill bacteria with 30 minutes of contact - chloramines require 50 hours to produce the same kill. This means that the customer is placed at a greater risk to microbiological contamination after a main break or treatment failure. Post water main repair actions or water treatment plant alerts would be essential in the event of a main break or process failure.
*How many times have the water customers of Elizabethtown been alerted of a boil water advisory or other proactive notice within recent memory?
We all know the City has had main breaks, and blaming Freeman Lake - a water treatment plant that has mostly been idle during the past 15 years - for taste and odor problems caused by "turnover of Freeman Lake", when no water was being pumped from the lake - should leave one with concern regarding the truth of what the water utility is telling the customer.