Letter to the Editor

Reader questions possible rate increase

Sunday, October 19, 2008

To the Editor:

My letter is just to ask if all the options have been investigated concerning our water supply problems.

I have no knowledge of water systems, but am an advocate for looking at all the possibilities with an open mind.

My understanding is from hearsay and info I have read in the paper. Having no first-hand knowledge, all I can do is ask questions and hope more folks get concerned over this problem.

Folks have said that new businesses are not building at the prime location of State Road 59 and Interstate-70 because there is insufficient water pressure. After reading the articles about the water rate increases and the serious condition of our current pipes, pumps, and tower, I am worried. Rate increases are a problem, but lack of water is a disaster. I went by to look at that tower, and it is scary, even if it is in sound condition. All that rust can't be good.

I am not criticizing anyone or looking for who is at fault other than just the age of the system. There is a problem that needs to be solved whether rates are increased or stay the same.

Have our officials considered hooking on to the Reelsville system? I have heard that they have newer lines and greater pressure for their customers and that their lines are close to the area. I don't know how close is close. It would be expensive but would those costs be comparable to repairs to the old water tower? Could Reelsville handle that many new customers? Would they even want our business? Would it hurt Brazil and other communities to purchase water from out of the county?

Could the Reelsville water system be an alternative to use until our tower has been repaired? I have heard of water systems that use from one source for part of the year and switch to another source when water runs low or has algae problems, etc. We don't face those problems but could something like that work for us? Once the pipes were laid, it could be a backup for the current system and water purchased on an as needed basis.

If I remember correctly, an article in The Times, a few months ago, said that the current tower could not be repaired properly because those repairs required a long shut down. The tower has to be drained to do the repairs. If it is shut down, we don't have water pressure. It scares me that something could happen to it suddenly and we would have no alternative water sources or no water pressure to get the water that was there.

After reading about the four-year study on the current water system, I am more anxious than relieved. Our officials are looking for ways to solve the problems. Are there other possibilities? Water is much more critical than all the worrying we are doing about gasoline.

Gail Roach,