Change is Near for Minden's Water - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Change is Near for Minden's Water

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Water in one Nebraska town has gone from pink to brown to rust-colored and it's been a consistent problem for decades.

Years have passed and Minden's water issue hasn't gotten any better and the city is determined to change this.

A public meeting to discuss Minden's water was held Thursday. Minden citizens were given a chance to speak out on the water issue and the city used it as an opportunity to let everyone know what the project plans entail.

The city said the root of the problem is an old system. Along with age, iron and manganese have built up in the pipes, slowly shrinking them from the inside. Some of that metal build–up is what is causing the water discoloration.

Water color varies from month to month. Some residents said the color gets so bad it even stains their laundry.

"We can get the most bang for our buck, spend the money wisely, we'll have a list of improvements and rank them and start looking at the money available to complete the project and start working. It's not a two-year fix system, this a long term fix," said Joe Baxter the chief engineer from Olsson Associates.

A project this size is expected to take five to ten years to solve all the problems and is expected to cost as much as $6 million and possibly more.

The city will be fixing the issue in phases with the first phase hopefully starting in June of 2015. 

A high priority is fire protection and making sure all parts of Minden can be sufficiently supplied with water.

"It's not uncommon for older systems to not have adequately sized water mains to fight fires. Houses are becoming bigger than they used to be and the standards are increased; we just need to make sure the mains are looped correctly and the right size so they can deliver water to homes for fire protection," said Ben Day, engineer with Olsson Associates.

There will be three public meetings held; the second will be held July 31. By then the engineers hope to have 60 percent of their analysis completed.

Residents can also send in their comments online at mindennebraska.org and see progress reports. 

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