Water supply delivery and quality discussed at Quincy City Council meeting

site of proposed amphitheater

Quincy's water supply comes from the Mississippi River through an aging water plant. — MRN FILE PHOTO

QUINCY — The Quincy City Council approved an ordinance for an $8.5 million loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for needed work to upgrade water plant equipment, some of which has been in use by the city since the 1950’s.

“That’s one of the things that keeps me up at night, thinking about that water plant going down,” Director of Public Works Jeff Conte said at Monday’s City Council meeting. “We still need to replace the pumps and electrical switchgear. The switchgear is from 1957.”

Conte said the work will consist of replacing the pumps and elevating them above flood stage along with pump station repairs, including waterproofing its doors and windows.

This is the second time the City Council has passed this particular ordinance, but it had to be brought back before the aldermen because the costs increased and the price went from about $7 million to $8.5 million.

The IEPA loan will require payments of more than $500,000 annually from the city for 20 years at 2 percent interest.

In other water system related action at Monday’s meeting, aldermen agreed for the City to join a class action lawsuit with other communities to recoup costs for possible renovations at the water treatment plant to remove “forever chemicals” from the public water supply.

The substances are perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl, also known as PFAS. Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new federal standard that would regulate several PFAS in drinking water as they can have adverse affects including possibly infertility, cancer and birth defects.

Conte said Quincy’s water supply meets the federal safety threshold for PFAS level and there will be no cost to the city to join the lawsuit.

Alderman, sitting as the Quincy Township Board, also approved multiple bids for renovation work to be done on the City Hall Annex, 706 Maine. The three bids for masonry, roofing and windows went as follows: $261,000 from Rupp Masonry, $130,450 from Tournear Roofing and $98,254 from Adams County Glass.

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