Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Leak could hasten water tower’s demise

J-E Reporter 
Providence City Council met last night with all members present except for Scott Frederick.  
After opening with the invocation, the previous meeting minutes were read and approved. There was no new business on the agenda, but the continuing discussion of the old water tower was front and center with Mayor Gooch reporting that a new development has occurred that will likely hasten the tower’s ultimate demise.

Gooch informed council members that a major leak had developed in the water line leading from the tower.  Because of prior issues with a defective valve assembly, it is not possible to simply turn it off.  
David May, Director of Public Works stated that his crews are in the process of digging out another section in order to stop the leak.  As previously reported, Gooch suggested that pending any other solutions, the tank will be taken out of service likely much sooner than they had anticipated. 
This will not affect the water quality as the two remaining tanks are more than adequate to support the city’s demands. 
In a public appeal, resident Don Bell raised a concern regarding the natural gas pipeline on KY 109 South that serves Providence and surrounding areas.  Since natural gas is odorless and colorless, an odorant, the chemical which produces the familiar smell must be added to the line in order for the presence of the gas to be known, particularly when a leak has occurred.  The station on KY109 is one such point where the chemical is added.   
While many communities rely on an automated process for this purpose, the City of Providence does it manually, which has been known to result in uncontrolled releases of the odorant.  Even if a small amount is spilled, the unpleasant smell will be noticed by those living in the vicinity, or passing through.  
Mr. Bell stated his primary concern was for the safety of the residents in that area, and their ability to notice an actual leak, if the smell was so strong after the manual process of adding it. He invited the Council to visit the site to better understand the situation. 
Bell’s suggestion to install an automated system was well received, however, Mayor Gooch stated that such an endeavor would be costly and would not be something that could be done quickly.  
David May informed the council that he is confident his crews are sufficiently trained to add the product safely in order to avoid spills.  In the meantime, he could explore the cost of an automated system. 
As there was no other business, the meeting was adjourned.  Next scheduled meeting is on Monday, February 2nd. 

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