Water Sports

Commissioners Opt To Retain Control Of Water System

Benton Harbor City Commissioners have decided the city should continue to own and operate its own water system with locally-employed staff. At a Monday meeting, commissioners heard from consultant John Young, who addressed them last month about a recently-completed analysis, required by the EPA, of the city’s possible water alternatives given the state of the current system. He outlined the report with options that included getting water from another municipality or switching to groundwater. Young wanted to dispel a misconception about the city’s water among some residents.

“The public still thinks the water’s not any good? Well, the water is good, and all of the test results and the state will tell you that it is good. So, I think that’s good news.”

Young said as work to replace lead service lines is about finished, all other indications are water from the local plant is safe and clean. Commissioners selected what was called Alternative 1C, in which the city retains full ownership of the water plant and operation of the system. Under the plan, lead operator positions will be filled under contract while other positions remain Benton Harbor employees. Young said he will now work with commissioners on a detailed plan of action to bring back to the state with a deadline in March. He called Alternative 1 the most cost effective of the water plan options.

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