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Engineer says Herring Road project on the way to be finished by year’s end

KINGWOOD — The Herring Road project should be completed by the end of the year, said Tim Rice, senior engineer of Potesta & Associates during a Kingwood Water Board meeting Tuesday.

He said 85% of the line has been installed. Rice said all of the 6-inch line has been installed. The 2-inch line is all that is left.

“They (A.J. Burke, contractor for the project) should be out of there by Thanksgiving,” Rice said. “They will still have to do pressure testing and add a PRV station sometime in November.”

A pressure relief valve station is used to control or limit surges of pressure within pipelines. It acts as protection for the system, and defends against instrument or equipment failure.

The project is being funded through an Abandoned Mile Land Grant and the Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council.

Earlier in the project, Kingwood Water Board members received paperwork from environmental specialists in Charleston about tree clearing on Herring Road.
They were told a small bat box might have to be provided for bats. The Indiana bat and the Virginia big-eared bat are federal endangered species found in West Virginia, according to the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.

A discussion about American Rescue Plan Act funds led to tabling decisions until the next meeting.

The water and the sewer board were both given $150,000 ARPA funds to be used for infrastructure.

A new truck, lab equipment, three radio read meters and four turbidity meters were a few of the items discussed. A turbidity meter measures the cloudiness in liquids and is a basic indicator of water quality. The radio read meters were listed as needed to replace old slow meters that are now in use.

Some of the other items on the list included a crane, four basement air compressors to control filter valves, five plant test/bench-top labs, eight clarifier tube settlers, nine raw water intakes, ten clarifier building covers and 11 Schwartz Line replacements.

Board members also discussed the possibility of adding additional money to the ARPA funds and put it toward one of their bigger projects.

In other business, The board welcomed James Maier as its newest board member. Maier previously served as mayor, as a member of city council and as a member of the water board.

City Clerk Amy DeBerry said the Public Service Commission recently updated its leak adjustment policy. She said under the new policy to receive a leak adjustment the bill had to be more than double the normal water bill.

In the past, customers who sought a leak adjustment for a large bill had to do so within 30 days. This also changed, DeBerry said. She said now there is no time limit on when an adjustment can be requested. Customers can only apply for an adjustment once every 12 months.

Board members approved leak adjustments for four customers and approved tap applications for two new customers.

Board members also heard from a customer who received a large water bill while on vacation. The customer said the water was turned off within the house while the family was gone, but an outside spigot was left so their pets could be watered.

The customer said someone was hired to come and take care of the family pets.

“I don’t know how it happened,” the customer said. “In the past, we have reported trespassers on the property.”

Board President Robert DeRiggi said city workers would go out and determine if there was a water leak. He said water use at the residence had spiked twice while the family was on vacation.

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