Utility director: Water checks underway

Robert Smith

Pawhuska Utilities Director Bill Bruce told the City Council March 12 that the city will be doing frequent checks on the levels of disinfection byproducts in its water until the next official testing of samples by the state of Oklahoma.

The city issued a notice at the beginning of March about excessive levels of trihalomethanes, which are chemical byproducts of the disinfection process, in some water samples. Trihalomethanes can cause problems for some people with compromised immune systems, as well as for some infants and elderly people.

Bruce said the problem samples came from the Dial Hill area of Pawhuska and said the city uses additional flushing of water lines and changing of the granulated, activated charcoal filters to help reduce trihalomethane levels.

In other business March 12, Bruce told city councilors that two generators that had been eyed as possible purchases did not live up to the descriptions that had initially been provided.

“They were not as advertised,” Bruce said, explaining that one of the two machines was, in his opinion, about ready for a salvage yard.

“We’re still looking,” City Manager Larry Eulert said. Pawhuska city government is looking for generators to replace its ancient dark-start generator that went down last year. That generator, an old submarine engine, was used to start the municipality’s electric-production process during power outages.

The council on March 12 approved adding collection fees to unpaid utility bills that are forwarded to a collection agency or agencies. Eulert said the city has some $107,000 of such unpaid bills, going back two years.