Elk Mound receives good score on DNR water inspection

By LeAnn R. Ralph

ELK MOUND — Overall, the Village of Elk Mound has received a good score from the state Department of Natural Resources on the 2012 water inspection report.

Terry Stamm, public works director, reviewed the report with the Elk Mound Village Board at the February 6 meeting.

“No significant deficiencies were identified,” Stamm said.

The village is required, however, to write a more detailed emergency chlorination plan, he said.

The water inspection is conducted every three years, and by law, the village board must review the inspection results, Stamm said.

Copper

Copper is one water supply issue that the village board must address, Stamm said.

The village’s corrosive water leaches copper off the water pipes, and excess copper is discharged from the wastewater treatment plant, he said.

Copper is toxic to micro-organisms living in the wetland that absorbs the discharge, Stamm said.

One way to reduce the amount of copper is by adding caustic soda to raise the pH of the water supply, he said.

Adding caustic soda would cost about $10,000 for the first year and several thousand dollars per year after that, Stamm said.

Tom Gilbert, village trustee, wondered if the village’s copper level had changed or if the regulation had changed.

The copper limit is set at 12 parts per billion (ppb), and the village’s mechanical wastewater treatment plant is not designed to remove or reduce copper, Stamm said.

The DNR granted a variance of up to 24 ppb, but the village is discharging between 24 and 30 ppb of copper, he said.

Other business

In other business, the Elk Mound Village Board:

• Set an employee relations committee meeting for 6 p.m. on February 20 to discuss hiring a part-time public works employee. Stamm said he plans to retire within a year or two, and the other two public works employees are planning to retire within the next three to five years. Two years of training is required to become a good water operator, Stamm said.

• Accepted the resignation of Village Trustee Kelly Droege, who is working on a doctorate degree and must attend classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

• Authorized advertising for a police chief to work 20 hours per week. Three years of experience is required, and preference will be given to candidates who are willing to live in Elk Mound.