The Williamsburg City council continued discussion about the fluoride corrosion issues at the water treatment plant during its Jan. 23 meeting. Matt Wildman, with HR Green, briefed council members after they requested cost estimates for moving the fluoride room and questioned the current levels of fluoride in the water that reaches customers.

Wildman explained it would cost approximately $83,000 to move the room away from the main building. The fluoride room is currently attached to the main building and shares an inner door with the control rooms in the water plant. Concerns over fluoride “dust,” which is corrosive, damaging the main building equipment and computers has been discussed by the council over the last several meetings.

“You can feel it on you when you come out of there” said council member Dale Walter, after he toured the fluoride room. “It’s on you and I feel sorry for the guys that need to be taking care of this.”

Previous water testing showed because of naturally occurring .4 fluoride in the water, it can be difficult to regulate to the additional .2 needed to meet the fluoride effectiveness of .7. Aaron Sandersfeld, city manager, explained that the fluoride pump has to be turned on and turned off to keep the fluoride levels from climbing too high.

“If we just run it as slow as we can possible run it, it can still reach 1.0,” said Sandersfeld. Because of that, adjustments have to be made continuously to make sure the water reaching the customer has a .7 fluoride level. The council decided to table the issue until more testing on the additional wells could be conducted.

Justin Parsons, police chief, spoke about changes to the Williamsburg Police force. Jason Mochal with now be assistant chief, replacing a retiring Mark Hartnett. A retirement party will be held for Hartnett on Tuesday, Jan. 31, from 2:30 to 5 p.m. at city hall.

Brandt Ulmann, Williamsburg assistant fire chief, presented the annual report for 2022. The Williamsburg Fire Department responded to 104 fire and other emergency calls, including 34 in Williamsburg. Ulmann said the average time from placing the call to 911 and arrival of the fire department is just over eight minutes in town and just over 11 minutes outside Williamsburg. He credits the dedicated volunteer firefighters, who live locally and work locally, to the minimal wait times. During National Fire Prevention week in October, the Williamsburg Fire Department conducted fire safety education to around 367 students at Williamsburg Community schools and Lutheran Interparish Schools.

The next Williamsburg City Council meeting will be on Monday, Feb. 13, at 6:30 p.m. at Williamsburg City Hall.

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