Water quality questioned
RIVERSIDE—Resident Kevin Klebe had a question for the city council at the meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 3.
Klebe brought several water samples to the council meeting to show them what he was talking about. One sample was only a week old and had a rusty brown color to it. The other sample he had was from Aug. 26. The color of that water was a darker brown.
“My question is, what do you want me to do?” Klebe said. “Do you feel I should keep paying for this yellow silt? Honestly, I’m at the point where I’m done.”
Klebe asked the council if he could stop paying for his water bill because of the water quality issues he has at his home on Boise Court since 1996, when he moved to the city. Klebe said he has spoken to the city about the issue several times and is frustrated because nothing has been done about it.
“You people ought to be paying me for the water,” Klebe said. “At this point I’m about the closest to stop paying for water. Go ahead and shut it off. I’m done.”
Klebe also had the filter and said it was installed on July 17. He said his filters are supposed to last for three months, but he has been changing them almost every three weeks.
“Well, I can definitely see why you would be upset,” said councilor Nate Kasdorf. “No doubt about it.”
Kasdorf said he remembered Klebe coming to the city council last summer about the same issue. He said before, he was told the problem on Boise Court was the water lines weren’t getting flushed enough. He said he thought the problem had been figured out. He asked if Klebe’s other neighbors were having the same problem.
“Yes,” said Larry Simon. “My dog won’t even drink the water.”
Simon lives on the northwest side of town by Klebe. He said he has seen the same discoloration to his system and has seen black things floating in the water.
City engineer Mike Hart said he could explain why Klebe has been seeing the discoloration to his water. He said the water plant is supposed to have two milligrams per liter of iron leaving the plant. He said Klebe’s samples probably have more iron than that because at three milligrams the water begins to change colors.
“That’s only one week filter you’ve got there,” Klebe said pointing to one of his samples.
“I know,” Hart said. “It doesn’t matter. I’m just telling you. I’ve seen much worse.”
Hart said there has been a lot of deposit from iron in the water system. He said there was a malfunction at the storage facility in the water plant a couple of weeks ago and it has stirred things up. He found out four milligrams per liter of iron has been leaving the plant.
A couple of other things that could have affected the water were taking down the water tower to clean it for inspection and the 26 blocks of cast iron water mains, Hart said. The system is still trying to cleanse itself from the time the water tower was down, and until the water mains get replaced there will be iron sediment in the water, he said.
Another thing that could have contributed to the issue is where you live in town, Hart said. Residents on Schnoebelen Street probably aren’t having the same problem Klebe is having, he said. Hart then asked if Mariellen Bower has noticed anything. Bower lives next to the elementary school. She said she has.
“Me and the neighbor have noticed rust,” said Mariellen Bower.
Hart seemed a little surprised by her answer. He asked how long she has seen the rust in her water.
“Oh, it’s been going on,” Bower said. “She’s got a rusty shower and I’ve got a rusty shower.”
“Now the truth comes out,” Klebe said. “Vindication.”
Hart suggested having the hydrants flushed sooner than every six months or having an automatic flushing system installed in the water system so they flush regularly.
Klebe said flushing the hydrants has only stirred things up. He told the council he understood there wasn’t a grand solution with his water quality issue but still was unhappy with the lack of action from the city. He said he is tired of complaining to the city about it.
“It doesn’t do any good,” Klebe said. “It hasn’t done any good since 1996. Look at where I am now.”
Klebe told the council he wouldn’t pay his water bill anymore because he didn’t see any other alternatives. He also asked for reimbursement from the city for the water filters he’s replaced, gaskets, and water heaters over the years because of the water issues.
Mayor Bill Poch said Klebe had every right to complain about his water issue. However, he said if the council allowed Klebe to stop water service from the city to his house and allowed for reimbursement, this would open up the city to other people wanting to do the same thing. He asked Klebe for patience and said there were a couple of things suggested tonight the city would look into, and then moved on to another subject.
Klebe left the water samples for the city. When he walked out of the council chambers he shook his head and said things never change.
Other items covered at the city council meeting were:
approving a building permit for Bob Ryan;
passing the change order for lift station No. 4 in the amount of $476.86;
approving city administrator Rusty Rogerson to get bids from other companies for security cameras installed in the lobby of city hall and outside of city hall;
and approved commercial grant requests for Lyndsay Krotz and Riverside Grain. Another commercial grant request for Bob Ryan was approved pending city hall receiving the right documentation.
The city council will meet again on Monday, Sept. 9 for a work session beginning at 5:30 p.m.