• Last modified 921 days ago (Oct. 14, 2021)


Water lines top Peabody council's list

Staff writer

Peabody’s city council agreed Monday to pay an engineering firm $8,000 to help the town navigate replacement its ancient water lines.

Marion-based EBH Engineering will inspect the city’s lines and prepare a report. The firm also will aid the city in getting funding for the project.

Engineer Darin Neufeld stressed that Peabody does not have a hazardous water quality problem despite a letter sent to the council by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment over low chlorine found in several areas.

Neufeld said the inspection by the agency was a step in the process by the city to get a loan approval to fund the project. Mayor Jay Gfeller said the agency also inspects city water lines annually.

“It’s not as bad as if the city had an arsenic problem or a boil order,” Neufeld said. “Just because there is low chlorine in some areas does not mean the water supply will grow bacteria. It means there is not enough chlorine to ensure no bacteria.”

Hillsboro, Peabody’s water source, uses chloramines (chemicals comprised of chlorine gas and ammonia) to disinfect the water supply.

The city’s corroded cast-iron water lines grow hard deposits that choke off water flow and leach chlorine.

“It basically eats the chlorine out of the water,” Neufeld said. “The newer lines are PVC pipe and won’t deteriorate chlorine like the old cast iron lines from 80 to 100 years ago do.”

Replacement of the city’s cast-iron water lines is the best option, he said.

The study will give the city a better picture of Peabody’s water line problem and what costs will be.

EBH also will help the city track down possible grants to cover costs.

“The report, in this case, will be about deciding where water lines need to be replaced and how to support the system,” he said, “because the city has some dead-end lines and areas where we need to try to loop the system to replace it.”

Building a chlorine injector is another option, but an operator would need to be hired and it would not solve the problem of the Peabody’s ancient infrastructure.

“It’s not the option we are looking for right now,” Neufeld said. “But if this would not work there is a further option to do a booster station.”

In other news:

  • Zachary Jackson was offered the position of public works superintendent.

Last modified Oct. 14, 2021