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St. Ignatius water project nears completion

ST. IGNATIUS — After a small amount of E. coli was found in the St. Ignatius water system in July of 2010, the city was forced to work through a $250,000 mandated water system upgrade for the next several years. 

The original project was to add a third city well and replace water lines on three streets. The Department of Environmental Quality tested the St. Ignatius water system in July of 2010. When the test came back positive for E. coli, the DEQ required the city to install a chlorine treatment system to sanitize the water supply. 

The new well and upgraded water lines would have to wait. 

Now that Phase 1 of the project (installing the new chlorine system) is complete, the city can shift its focus back to the original project — a $750,000 well and water lines. 

“$750,000 was the last estimate on (Phase 2), which means Phases 1 and 2 together will cost about $1 million,” said Public Works Director Scott Morton. 

Morton said the city is waiting for a chlorine control system that monitors the chlorine levels. Should the chlorine content escape optimal levels, the system is equipped with an alarm and a shutoff switch.

“If, for some reason, we get a spike, the system will give us an alarm and we can get there and fix it before it shuts down,” Morton said. “Hopefully we can get that done and move on to Phase 2.”

The system is up and running, and Phase 2 may go out for bid in the coming months. 

The city also adopted a new ordinance that bans skateboarding down Old Highway 93 and adopted a new floodplain ordinance. In order for St. Ignatius residents to obtain flood insurance, the city must have this floodplain ordinance on file. 

“That’s a required thing, so it’s just kind of a technicality. (The Federal Emergency Management Agency) just furnishes the ordinance for you and you put your name on it,” Morton said. 

In addition, the city is again accepting applications for its vacant police officer position. 

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