The city of Springfield is exploring the option of piping in water as a secondary source for its current water treatment plant.
The secondary water plan has been under consideration for several months, but a recent chemical issue at the water treatment plant that caused the city to urge water conservation has raised the priority level for the plan.
In February, a chemical in the river was not able to be removed from the water by typical treatment methods so the city asked residents to conserve water while city water officials looked for an effective treatment option.
As a result, city officials stepped up talks on ways to provide a secondary water source to supplement daily water needs and to provide water in the case the water treatment plant cannot provide the daily water needs of the Springfield water system's more than 12,500 customers.
One proposed option is having water pipes in from the Logan-Todd Water Commission in Kentucky. The water would be delivered by a 20 inch to 24 inch pipeline that would have to be installed along a 20 mile route.
“We have had really good discussions with Logan-Todd,” Springfield City Manager Paul Nutting said. “Finished water looks like a good option and they're interested in doing it.”
Finished water is water treated by Logan-Todd and then delivered to Springfield.
Nutting said the city would like reduce the amount of treated water produced at the current water treatment plant in Springfield and supplement the daily need of five million gallons of water with at least two million gallons of water from Logan-Todd's production.
That would allow the city to store more water at the water treatment plant and in an emergency increase the capacity of water the city can supply to customers by at least six million gallons more from Logan Todd.
Currently, the city takes five million gallons per day from the river and has storage capacity for another six million gallons for a total of 11 million gallons of water, or about a two day supply for the city.
“We can't get any more water out of the Red River [daily] and neither can anyone else who gets water from the Red River,” Nutting said. “We really need a second source of water because that is as far as we can grow.”
If Springfield decides to purchase finished water from Logan-Todd Water Commission the town estimates it will come at a $29 million capital cost and a $125 million cost over 50 years.
The multi-million dollar project would mean a water rate increase for customers if it is adopted, according to Nutting.
However, the exact cost is unclear because if Springfield buys water from the Kentucky company it will require adding a pipeline, property issues and agreements across state lines.
Nutting told News 2 it is still unclear how much of an increase water customers would see.
Springfield's city manager said his staff is still in the preliminary stages of deciding if that option is best.
Lifelong resident Jeanne Traughber wants the city to find a reliable water source, she was concerned by the conservation warning she received from the town in February.
“We just have to have it,” She said. “We have to depend on it.”
Other secondary water options include buying water from Nashville, White House and adding a new intake site on the Cumberland River.