Residents of the railroad city will have to wait a little longer before they see the rust disappear from the drinking water, Pembroke water and sewer supervisor Keith Cook told the Pembroke City Council at their Sept. 14 meeting.
He attributed much of the problem to a new well with a considerably higher flow rate and reversing the city’s flow of water through the water lines.
“You’re probably aware we’ve had a lot of groundwater complaints since the new well was put in operation. We knew some of that was going to happen because the rate of flow is more than three times the flow of our old well.
“On top of that, we reversed the flow of the system. Inside those pipes you have a coat of rust. Anytime you have a pressure loss or hydrant open, it’s going to change the pressure in the pipes and it’s going to disrupt that rust. I’ve had a company come out that sells a product that captures the rust.
“You put 1,000 gallons a minute and the rust is going to break loose. We’ve got to do a flushing on the system. Once you add this chemical it is going to soften the rust. Once we start we’re going to have to flush the entire system. We may have to do it once a month or however often until we get everything cleared up,” Cook said.
Councilman Tiffany Walraven asked if the water was drinkable. Cook assured her it was. Pembroke residents should receive a note in their water bill later this month explaining what is being done to fix the problem.
The city council also::
• Heard that more than $96,000 had been received in additional CARES money.
City Administrator Alex Floyd told the council that it might be time for the city to review fees charged in the planning and zoning department. Mayor Judy Cook said they could look at that in an upcoming budget meeting.
• Were told that the four affordable homes recently built under a CHIP grant were receiving a lot of interest and were priced between $144,000 and $149,000,
See related story Pembroke awarded $750,000 to upgrade sewer system.