– Editor’s note:
I was in-audience at the Yelm City Council’s Study Session Tuesday, April 4th when they received a briefing from Yelm Public Works Director Chad Bedlington. I am elated to see Yelm officials educating the public on what is required to bring the Yelm water system up to modern standards, for this will require a community-wide effort.
Phase 1 = Update computer system that handles the Yelm water system,
Phase 2 & 3 = Update infrastructure, i.e. replacing pumps, expand capacity,
Phase 4 = Optional, treating plant’s own biomatter, instead of contracting out.
Total costs of the projects are estimated between $17-$28 million.
BRAVO to City Administrator Michael Grayum for tackling this imperative issue head-on!
– From City Administrator Michael Grayum to Yelm Community blog readers:
“I want to provide some more details and reiterate the importance of issues we are focusing on with city employees in phase 1:
* Our Booster Pump station is beyond its useful life and showing signs of failure.
* The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA) is out-dated and software no longer supported.
* Hardware that supports SCADA is out-dated and no longer supported effectively.
* We are out of compliance with our Department of Ecology (DOE) permit due to lack of operator control of set points.
It is imperative that we update the SCADA system to gain operational control, instead of the automated approach it is currently on. Doing so will give us the tools to get back into compliance and give us the ability to actively manage the system and reduce costs of future system improvements – which is in the best interest of all ratepayers.
The estimated cost to complete phase 1 improvements is $2,000,000.
Councilmember Hendrickson and I are working with city staff to find grant and loan opportunities for the project. Examples are: Department of Ecology Grant/Loan programs, Public Works Trust Fund and USDA loans, Direct Financing by the Utility through a Bond Issuance, and direct legislative funding assistance.”