Millville considering options for future water usage

MILLVILLE–The City Council recently approved a proposal on how to use unused bond funds from the state Division of Drinking Water. The money will be used to complete a study on water usage within Millville and to analyze options for future water use at the city continues to grow.Millville was given money to complete a project of building a reservoir and booster station and did not use all the money given. There is approximately $35,000 left to be spent. The Division of Drinking Water would like all the funds spent by June 30.Zan Murray, an engineer with J-U-B Engineers, presented the proposal on what they would like to see done with the money. The purpose of this study is to evaluate all the options in improving Millville’s water system so that in the future the city can get “the most bang for their buck,” as Murray said. There is a series of different studies to be done that would make known the best way that Millville could utilize water in the future.The first phase of the study is an in-depth analysis of population and water usage. With this study, they will be able to see where the most water is being used and how that water is being used.Murray said that this is a very important part of the study because without knowing how the water is being used within the city, you can’t improve where the citizens need the system to be improved. This study of the population would also include a projection for the next 20 years of growth in order to better prepare Millville for its future.Once the population study is complete the rest of the studies are of different options for Millville water and how effective and costly each option would be.The first option would be to evaluate the water that is already coming from Garr Spring and try to divert those water shares into the culinary water system. Millville has been trying for quite some time to negotiate this with Garr Spring but nothing has come of it.The next option would be to blend water from different sources. The water from the Glen Ridge well at 200 E. 350 North has been showing high levels of nitrate. The levels are not dangerous as of yet, but could become dangerous in the future. Murray suggested pumping the water from the Glen Ridge well into the million-gallon reservoir to dilute those nitrate levels and make the water safe.Another option is to implement aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) into the Glen Ridge well. ASR is a system where the water rights that go unused in the winter are pumped into the ground and held in storage underground. In the summer when there is not as much water flowing the water can be pumped out of the aquifer underground and put into the system.ASR is a new system and not very many cities have implemented the technology. It is an expensive system to put into place because so much research and studies have to be done before ASR can be approved for an area. This part of the study would simply analyze what it would cost Millville to put in an ASR system.There is also the option of upgrading the existing well in Millville City Park. The well currently has a 10-inch casing which allows 500 gallons per minute to be producing. If the well was upgraded to a 16-inch casing it would allow 1500 gallons per minute.The last study on the proposal was to look at the option of drilling an entirely new well. The study would determine the best place to drill a new well and what the cost of a new well would be.Murray emphasized that all the studies and research would be drawn up into comparisons to make sure that in the future, Millville would know how to best serve its population. The goal is to make sure the dollar per gallon produces the most water for usage per minute.With all the research and studies combined the final cost proposed was $23,080. The remaining money would be used to prepare a hydraulic modeling of the water system which is a requirement of the division of drinking water.The study will be completed by June 30 and presented to the council at some point after that.

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