MEAD — Even before the potential for groundwater contamination originating at AltEn was discovered, Mead officials made an investment to overhaul the village’s aging infrastructure.
Two new groundwater wells, a new water tower, and a state-of-the-art filtration system totaling $3 million went into operation in the last few years, Board of Trustees Chair Bill Thorson said.
The system was designed by Lincoln engineering firm Olsson to address rusty water that signaled high levels of iron, as well as magnesium and arsenic that were within tolerable levels but on the rise.
The water tower, roughly twice the size of the old tower, was built with future growth in mind, Thorson said.
Mead received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help get the project going, and added a surcharge to residents’ water bills to pay the rest.
Thorson said the filtration system’s operators can monitor the system remotely from a phone application, but they spend 8 to 10 hours a week testing the quality of the water.
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“Most people don’t know that we have this,” he said. “Mead’s probably got the cleanest water in Saunders County right now.”
Thorson said he wants to share news of the project to alleviate any fears current or future residents of Mead may have about the village’s drinking water.
Groundwater wells downstream from AltEn have shown the presence of pesticides in recent tests. Mead is situated upstream from AltEn.