Versailles water project nears completion

VERSAILLES, Mo. — Mayor Terry Silvey said a project to revamp the city’s water system is nearing completion, although “nothing ever gets done as fast as the mayor would like.”

Silvey said contractors are currently doing repair work to several streets, sidewalks and green spaces that were torn up to allow for the replacement of water mains throughout the city.

“We have received a few complaints about the areas that are still torn up from the project, but ... sometimes it’s necessary to tear things up before they can be fixed,” Silvey said. Weather permitting, the project will be complete by the end of August, he said.

Silvey was referring to work on the second phase of a $1.8 million project to revamp and repair the city’s aging water system. The work included replacing some 28,000 linear feet of water mains at various locations throughout the town.

The decision to replace the mains and do some other work on the town’s water system came about after the Board of Aldermen received a number of complaints from residents about low water pressure and excessively hard and rusty water.

He said the city called in an engineer who said the only way to handle the problem was to add a chlorination system and to replace the old water mains.

Earlier this year, the city added a chlorination system and Silvey said that move alone had already made a major difference in the quality of the tap water.

“Now that all the pipe replacement is complete and the new chlorination system is supplying the entire city, we have been receiving feedback from the residents about how much better their service is,” Silvey said.

He said in addition to completion of the pipe replacement and chlorination projects, pressurization testing has also been completed, and all the crews have left to do is replace concrete on sidewalks and streets that were torn up during construction phase.

“The contractors are also in the process of hooking up properties to the new mains and repairing damage to lawns where those new hookups were necessary,” Silvey said. “And, the city is footing the bill for those private hookups so the residents won’t have any out-of-pocket expense.”

When work on the water system is complete, the city has plans to revamp its sewer system as well.

Silvey said officials are awaiting final approval from the U.S. Rural Development Group before starting work on a $5 million project to update the sewer treatment plant. He said the funds to pay for that project will come in the form of a low-interest loan, and he hopes to receive the “go ahead” to start that project later this year.

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