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Columbia City Council approves next phase of McBaine Water Treatment Plant project


Columbia City Council members unanimously approved a request for bids for the McBaine Water Treatment Plant Project Monday night.

The final vote allows the city to begin accepting bids from contractors to move forward with Phase 2 of the project. The vote comes after a sale closed last month that allowed the project to move forward.

"So we presume over the next two months we'll start getting ... bids from the contractors and determine the best route to take from there," City of Columbia Utilities spokesman Matt Nestor said.

The project aims to keep Columbia's water clean and improve the capacity and efficiency of the treatment plant. According to the city's website the project is expected to increase the plant's capacity to 32 million gallons of water per day.

According to Nestor, in 2016, it was determined that some of the equipment in the plant was "nearing the end of its useful life."

Nestor said some of the improvements include new aerators, filtration and new equipment to help with the disinfection of the water. However, cofounder of the Como Safe Water Coalition Julie Ryan said there is a larger issue that the city needs to address.

"We don't clean the water effectively in order just to simply disinfect with chlorine," Ryan said. "And so essentially the point that we're trying to make is that these repairs and these upgrades are not solving the core problem."

Ryan noted she believes the city needs to utilize granular activated carbon, which Ryan said would eliminate contaminates that in the city's water. Ryan also said she would like for the city to stop using the current disinfect it uses.

Nestor said the city's steps moving forward with the bidding process will include looking at the essential construction needed.

"Plus whatever ... other projects that can fit into what our budget will be, and then determine from there which of those proposals fit our needs the best," Nestor said.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

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Nia Hinson


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