The City of Longview and the Beacon Hill Water & Sewer District (BHWSD) currently supply customers with drinking water sourced from groundwater wells and treated at the Mint Farm Regional Water Treatment Plant. Mint Farm reliably produces drinking water that meets all regulatory standards. But when a 2014 survey found that a large majority of water customers were unsatisfied with their water, the City and BHWSD undertook a study of water quality improvement options. The study, completed between 2014 and early 2016, considered more than 50 different options to modify the water supply and improve water quality. Switching the water source from Mint Farm groundwater wells to Cowlitz River riverbed collector wells was initially identified as a preferred alternative. However, disappointing water quality testing results caused this approach to be removed from consideration in July 2016. (Find out more about the study here.)
The City and BHWSD are currently looking into treatment modifications at Mint Farm that may improve water quality and address some of the issues that have concerned customers. Later this year, staff will recommend next steps to address taste and odor complaints and propose methods to evaluate treatment options for silica removal.
Nearly 100 people applied to serve on the city of Longview’s water quality committee, and the City Council is expected to appoint a dozen of them to the group at its meeting Tuesday afternoon.
The city’s water quality contractor, CH2MHill, nominated 12 people for the committee, which is a central part of the city’s $217,000 study of water quality concerns arising from the switch to the Mint Farm water wells two years ago. The committee will meet monthly with engineers and city officials to discuss remedies. The study is expected to last well into next summer.
"City Council members on Thursday night soundly voted against spending $350,000 make city tapwater taste better, citing cost and uncertainty.
“I think I’m not sure I want to spend that amount of money until we find out where we’re going, even if that means we wait a while,” Mayor Don Jensen said, referencing the water supply study that may present new options for the city’s water source next summer."
"Like a catchy chorus on a Top-40 radio station, some people in Longview have been repeating, 'Go back to the Cowlitz River!'
"So let’s go back — not to the river as a water source, but to Longview’s transition from the Cowlitz to the Mint Farm Regional Water Treatment Plant."