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Hillsboro to get help with algae

Staff writer

A $1.1 million forgivable loan from the state could pay for a pilot project to reduce blue-green algae toxins in Hillsboro’s water supply.

The proposed improvements are to provide more effective, less expensive removal of iron and manganese caused by algae blooms in Marion Reservoir.

City council members voted Tuesday to apply for the money from Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The money will come from a forgivable loan, not a grant, city administrator Matt Stiles told council members.

“It will appear as an obligation on the city until it’s completely forgiven,” Stiles said.

Part of the proposal involved the city asking KDHE to allow it to purchase a chlorine dioxide generator at a cost of $58,750. Pre-approval is required because only one manufacturer in the state makes the proper size, so the city won’t seek bids.

The idea is to have the generator installed before summer to get an effective measure of its ability.

Early data will be used by KDHE to determine whether the treatment can be used safely.

The city expects to pay $2,016.66 in service fees and accrued interest on the loan. EBH engineer Michael Younger said he anticipated the project would take a year to design and a year to construct.

Water for Hillsboro, which also processes water for Peabody, and Marion comes from the reservoir. Although Marion water has high manganese levels, Marion has taken no action to seek similar improvement of its treatment system.

Last modified March 23, 2023

 

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