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Water flow meter requirement discussed

Water flow meter requirement discussed

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WAHOO – Water flow meters could soon become a requirement for wells within the Lower Platte North Natural Resources District. 

While it was not discussed during the monthly LPNNRD Board of Directors meeting on Dec. 14, it was talked about during a water committee meeting on Dec. 3 where it was tabled for further review. 

Flow meters would help the district manage water flow within the area. While it could be beneficial, LPNNRD General Manager Eric Gottschalk said in an interview after the meeting it would take a lot of time and money.

“There’s other districts that have required flow meters on all their other wells,” Gottschalk said. “It’s something that if we did go that route then it would be time consuming, as well as an expensive project.”

According to the information on the board’s agenda, it could cost the district anywhere from $1 million to $3 million depending on if they cost-shared $500 per well or $1,000 per well.  

As of now, the district has 1,027 meters with 222 of those within Saunders County. However, Saunders County would need to install approximately 750. In the entirety of the district, 2,855 meters could be installed in order to meet this potential requirement. 

Because of this project’s large undertaking, Gottschalk said it could be taken off the table for action or inaction within the next couple of months but there will be some other aspects the district will have to consider. 

“As an NRD we have so many responsibilities,” Gottschalk said. “We’ve got some directors that think high nitrate levels in some of our phase areas is more important than the quantity (of water). There’s a water quality versus water quantity.” 

In other business, the board heard updates on the Hazard Mitigation Plan, Woodcliff Sanitary and Improvement District 8 project assistance and the Wanahoo Stilling Basin fixes. 

The Hazard Mitigation plan was approved by FEMA and NEMA and now is looking to be approved by 55 com-

munities that participated in the planning process. There are currently 41 communities who have approved the resolution. 

Gottschalk said once the remaining 14 communities approve the resolution the plan will be completed until the next plan in 2025.

During the Nov. 9 directors meeting, the board learned of an assistance request from Woodcliff, which is an SID in Saunders County, for two different projects in their district. 

The projects committee heard a presentation from JEO Project Engineer Jake Miriovsky and SID representative Lonnie Mart about the two projects which could cost the board $400,000 for a road raise on its levee and $137,000 in cost-share help for damages from the 2019 floods that have already mostly been repaired. 

Gottschalk said there was no action made during the board meeting on this topic as well.

The directors also heard an update on the fixes to the Wanahoo Stilling Basin. Valley Corporation, a large construction company, moved in to repair damage from the 2019 floods on the back east side of the basin. 

Gottschalk said that because of the large amount of water coming out of the three tubes under the dam during the floods, it displaced all of the rip rap rocks which created a void that is now underwater at the end of the spillway. 

Valley Corporation will be putting in matting over the void area with mesh over large boulders called gabion baskets in several large sections. These sections will then be connected together which will prevent having loose riprap down where the strong flood waters could come.

“The good thing about this is we are hopefully building a little bit more robust and stronger than what was there in the past,” Gottschalk said. “If we have the same events, we’re not going to have the same circumstance.”

The contract will be completely done by May and Valley Corporation hopes to be finished on site in February. 

The board will hold their first meeting of 2021 on the second Monday in January.

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