Budgeting for improvements: Well water filtration system, additional police cars approved – Money Perception

The city of Lone Grove approved its budget last week with plans to improve its well water filtration system.

Lone Grove City Council members unanimously approved the $3.4 million budget.

The budget contains line items for the city to purchase two used police cars from the Kansas Highway Patrol, a used wood chipper from Carter County District 3, and a filtration system to improve on its well water system.

“Money is kinda tight,” City Manager Ian O’Neil said. “We were a lot more conservative this year. We’re trying to focus on water and make some infrastructure improvements.”

Lone Grove residents receive their water from wells and have experienced issues with the water in the past. In 2013, citizens were concerned after their water came out of the faucet brown.

At the time, O’Neil said the discolorations could have been from the chlorine in the water highlighting the iron and manganese in the water making it appear a copper color.

The new Greensand filtration system will be added to the wells this year to filter out the iron, manganese and sulfur from the well water. The city said it plans to implement this filtration on two wells this year, and the other half of the city’s wells next year.

The Environmental Protection Agency classifies iron and manganese as secondary contaminants, that may cause cosmetic effects “such as hair, skin, or tooth discoloration” when at high enough levels in drinking water. Manganese is typically black to brown in color and can cause black staining. It also carries a bitter metallic taste. High enough levels of iron also causes water to be a rusty color and have a metallic taste.

According to the EPA these minerals are safe to drink and non-health threatening, but if contaminants cause the water to appear cloudy or colored, people may stop using the public water system even though the water is safe to drink.

Lone Grove’s budget also included a three percent merit raise for many city employees and the purchasing of a spot digger for the water department to be financed for two years with cost being $25,000 per year.