ELIZABETHTOWN — Elizabethtown’s drinking water is perfectly safe to drink — that was the message from Public Works Director Pat DeVane to the Elizabethtown Town Council at Tuesday’s meeting.
DeVane informed the board the department had received calls recently about milky water.
“Whenever we receive complaints about milky water, we see if the problem is oxygen in the water,” said DeVane. “We fill a cup up with water and set it on the counter and usually within a minute or two the discoloration has disappeared, indicating oxygen has dissipated. The water is perfectly clear and perfectly safe.”
Checking the chlorine — the only additive to the town’s drinking water — daily is the first task of the water department to ensure the supply is safe. DeVane said the problem has been identified and a valve adjusted.
The oxygen level, while not a large problem in itself, did bring to light a broader concern with one of the wells. The town will have, with the start-up of a new one within two weeks, five wells.
“When we get the new well online in a couple of weeks, we will have two relatively new wells and three others that are already experiencing problems,” DeVane told the council. He recommended the board begin thinking about putting in another well and noted the town is in good position because of money that has already been stored away for just such a situation.
The board was advised to begin looking for property and, since proximity to the old well would enable existing infrastructure to be used, land near the fire department would be ideal.
When board members questioned the life expectancy of wells, DeVane said 10 to 15 years isn’t unreasonable, and the well on Swanzy Street has been in use for 30 to 40 years.
In other matters, the board:
— Held a public hearing for, and disapproved a rezone request for property at 1201 E. Broad Street from residential to commercial. No protest petitions were received, but three neighbors spoke against the request, citing a desire to see the area maintained as a neighborhood rather than a commercial district.
— Heard an update from DeVane on mosquito spraying and Tropical Storm Hermine. DeVane said the department has held off on mosquito spraying because of the dry summer, but they usually commence spraying about this time of year. He also informed the board that crews should have debris cleanup from Hermine completed by this weekend.
— Approved the surplus of property on Glenwood Drive. An adjoining property owner expressed interest in purchasing it, and the property will be exchanged for another lot at the end of Glenwood.
— Learned from Police Chief Tony Parrish that police officers will begin wearing new uniforms on Monday. They approved the surplus of the old uniforms so they could be donated to the Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.