Ripley City Council is looking into a plan that would improve water pressure on Greenbrier Drive and other high areas in that section of town. Residents, including Councilman Bryan Thompson, say that pressure is quite low at times in the area.
The pressure's low level is especially critical at fire hydrants. Veteran fireman Dave Brubaker came to speak to Council on the matter. He said, "Right now the pressure is fine for us to fight a fire, but if we had two at the same time, we'd be in trouble." Hydrant pressure in the area is about 30 psi as opposed to the 80 psi reached in downtown, low-lying areas.
According to engineer James Hildreth, two remedies are possible. A booster station would bring more water up the hill faster and give the illusion of higher pressure. It would not, however, help fire fighters.
A better solution, he says, would be to run a new six-inch main from Timberland Heights to serve the area and switch the high streets away from the tank currently serving them. Mayor Carolyn Rader proposed to do the work with current city employees. City Superintendent Tim King says that they are certainly qualified. "We'd have to let a lot of other maintenance work go," he said. "This would take a four-man crew three or four months."
The work would involve laying 2,800 linear feet of six-inch waterline, installing some two-inch pressure reducers, and four connections to existing mains. The work would cost about $45,000 with city labor.
Hildreth also wondered aloud if some of the older, thin-walled PVC waterlines would bear the added pressure. Mayor Rader said, "We really need to address this." Lack of water pressure is one obstacle to more development in the area.
Council also heard from Sewerage Board Commissioners Rick Buckley and Gary Epling. They told Council that the pending fine from DEP had been reduced for $200,000 to $30,000 dollars and that the city has two years to pay.
They also said that Thrasher Engineering is ready to go to the Infrastructure Council for funds to work on the sewage collection system. Recent test have shown the system to be "worse than we thought," commented Buckley. Storm water infiltration is a major problem to be addressed.
On a positive note, the new Solar Bee aerators are in place on the Ripley lagoons and the older Pond Doctors have been moved to the Evans plant.
Police Chief Jim Fridley told Council that the county Drug Takeback Day last Saturday netted 127 pounds of unused medications. "These won't show up now on the streets or in the sewer system," he said.
He also announced that the department along with the Sheriff's Office have solved 16 recent burglaries and recovered a major portion of the stolen goods.
Page 2 of 2 - Mayor Rader announced that Chief Fridley has just been elected president of the West Virginia Chief's Association for the coming year.