City will further examine manganese filtration options

The City of Merrill knows it has to do something to remove the high levels of manganese in its water supply, it just wants to make sure it is proceeding on the best course of action before undertaking the costly work, the mayor said.

Mayor Bill Bialecki said the Common Council referred the matter back to the Water and Sewage Committee for discussion on having Strand and Associates conduct a Phase II study of the city’s water system.

At the Committee of the Whole meeting before the council meeting on Oct. 12, the results of the Phase I reports were presented to the aldermen and city officials. It was then that they learned that the high concentrations of the heavy metal could be removed through filtration. But the price tag of any system would depend on several factors, some of which would be based on demand of water and how many wells are needed to supply present and future needs of residential and business customers.

The Phase II study would give city leaders that information, Bialecki said.

“It’s just a more in-depth study,” Bialecki said. “We can go ahead and take action on the information that came out of Phase I, but the council just has to decide what action they want to take.”

The cost of a mechanical filtration system that is pump driven that could handle three city wells at one time would be around $1.25 million. A gravity feed system with more capacity would cost about twice that, Bialecki said.

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