MAN — The Town of Man may have to come up with a large amount of money in order to abide by a new mandate that has not been funded.
In January of last year a major chemical spill in the Charleston area caught many people in state government off guard and now new regulations have been passed that will affect Man and other communities which have their own water systems.
Jonathan Carpenter and Caitlyn Preece, who work closely with the Region II Development Authority out of Huntington, discussed the need for the town to have a Source Water Protection Contingency plan.
The Town of Man Water Works currently has two tanks capable of providing 400,000 gallons of treated water at 120, 750 gallons per day. The minimum requirement for treated water storage under the new mandate is 551,880 gallons. The town currently does not have a raw water storage facility and has been using Buffalo Creek itself as a source for raw water by pumping what is needed with a line. Minimum requirements for raw water storage are 225,940 gallons per day for two days.
Preece said three months ago she had visited with Water Works Supervisor Dwayne Mounts to discuss the possible option the town had and a proposed four part plan to get the town’s water into compliance with the new mandates. Preece talked about what could be done to pump raw water from the Guyandotte as well as three alternatives to get treated water including interconnecting with the Buffalo Creek PSD or the Logan PSD.
Preece said the town needs two days of treated water storage and that the town’s current capacity for treated water was 400,000 gallons.
One option is for the town to purchase a 200,000 gallon tank as well as generators to have power in the event of a power outage.
Preece said another option would be a long term goal of connecting with the Buffalo Creek PSD. She also discussed the possibility of an early warning monitoring system which could give the town some lead time in the event of a crisis.
Mayor Blevins asked Dwayne Mounts to describe the project in layman’s terms.
“After the spill in Charleston, the state wants towns to have two water sources,” Mounts said, saying one would be a treated water source and the other would be a raw water source (untreated).
“We are one of the few towns in the state that has access to two sources right now,” Mounts said. “We have two tanks which are 200,000 gallons, but we will need another tank.”
Roger Muncy asked how much another tank would cost.
“They made these laws or mandates, but they did not fund them,” Mounts said.
Carpenter said the town might have to get a long term loan to purchase the tank and the generators. June 30, 2016 is the deadline for the town to file its plan with the state.
Mounts repeated, saying the tank and the generator were needed for the town to be in compliance with the new mandates. He said the generators would cost around $66,000 alone. “We may be able to get some help for the funding of the generators,” he added.
Town Accountant Jeff Valet said Man faces another financial challenge in replacing the old Terra Cotta pipes in the sewage system.
“I will get with Dwayne and see what we will have to do,” said Mayor Jim Blevins.
J.D. Charles is a freelance writer and a former reporter for The Logan Banner.