Wolfforth Council gets option for water treatment

A representative of Blaus Wasser talked to Wolfforth City Council members Monday night about another option for obtaining cleaner water, but he couldn’t say much.

Mayor Charles Addington asked at the beginning of the presentation how the council could get answers and remain within a non-disclosure agreement the city signed with Blaus Wasser in May.

City Manager Darrell Newsom said the majority of the NDA covers identifying other communities working with Blaus Wasser, but he said to address questions to the company representative, Norm Bangle, and he could decide whether to answer them.

The council, which has been discussing building an electrodialysis reversal water treatment plant, is also in the middle of deciding whether to tie a well field it owns near Ropesville into its system.

Items apparently covered in the NDA include Blaus Wasser’s pricing and the location of its well fields and equipment.

Answers to questions about those items were turned down at the council meeting, although the council had been provided documents apparently covering the information. Council members referred to Option 1 and 2 on the documentation several times throughout the meeting.

Newsom said the city’s involvement with Blaus Wasser could range from no involvement to total involvement, with Blaus Wasser running the city’s new treatment plant and taking care of all of the city’s water needs.

Councilman James Vardy quizzed Bangle, asking him if the city could build its own electrodialysis reversal water treatment system and also bring in fresh water from Blaus Wasser. Bangle said Wolfforth could combine its own water with Blaus Wasser water.

Bangle described Option 2 as a water line with a number of drop-off points. In tying into that line, Bangle said the city could share costs with some larger cities.

“In either option, you all are bringing in all the pipeline?” Counilman Bruce MacNair asked, and Bangle said yes.

Bangle repeated more than once that Blaus Wasser believes in using engineers the city has selected, and that locals tend to know more about the land in their area.

Michael Adams, an engineer for OJD Engineering, which provides engineering services to the city of Wolfforth, said his opinion on Blaus Wasser is that the city needs to treat that company as an alternative water supply.

“I don’t think you want to look at giving up any control of your operations. If you weren’t growing, you might look at it a little differently,” Adams said. Because Wolfforth is growing, Adams said he believes it needs to remain in control of its assets.

Adams said this is the same as working with Lubbock to try to secure alternative water if Wolfforth’s water supply should not be enough. Lubbock water should be treated as an alternate source of water as well, he said.

Councilwoman Julie Merrill asked about the treatment of Blaus Wasser’s water, noting that it would use a reverse osmosis system which City Council members have been told in prior meetings wastes a lot of water.

Newsom said the Blaus Wasser water comes from well fields not owned by Wolfforth and so would not waste Wolfforth’s water by treating it via reverse osmosis.

Addington thanked Bangle and said that he has been worried about Wolfforth having water in the future.

“I think it’s very good and a blessing that we may have water for another 100 years,” Addington said, referring to Blaus Wasser’s promotion to provide water for another century.

“Unfortunately, I think this adds a whole new wrinkle of numbers,” he said.

City Secretary Debbie Perkey said the city could finance some of its water issues through Specialized Public Finance Inc., and some of it through Blaus Wasser.

Councilman Ramiro Villarreal asked how soon the council needs to make a decision.

“I would think within the next 60-90 days,” Bangle said.

Newsom said the city does not have money for its pilot protocol of the electrodialysis reversal system, which it planned to pay for out of whatever financing it decides to go with.

“We’ve got to make some decisions,” Newsom said. “We’re running out of time.”

The council made no decisions on Monday night regarding water treatment or Blaus Wasser’s proposal.

But Addington told Bangle he feels confident that the city will have some interaction with his company.

The council approved minutes from prior meetings, an FSA Committee ballot and autoCAD services at City Hall.

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