Repairs being made at Esky water plant

ESCANABA – A leak in the cement settling basin outside Escanaba’s water plant is currently being repaired and should be back in full operation by the weekend, said the city’s water official.

“The crack poses no health hazards, no affect on fire protection, and no issues with residents,” explained Jeff Lampi, water/wastewater superintendent Tuesday afternoon.

Leaks were reported last week in the cement casting of the settling basin which is located outside the plant. Lake water, pretreated with chemicals, is pumped into the basin where sediments are allowed to settle to the bottom, he said.

Though it appeared there were several leaks in the basin, there was only one crack in the structure causing water to leak at different locations through the outside layer of bricks, explained Lampi.

A crew has been working on the leak source for the past few days and is expected to complete the repair by today, he said. Following a two-day curing time required for the repair materials, the basin should be permanently fixed and in full operation by the weekend, he added.

The crack and the repair work did not affect customers’ water supply but did affect work at the plant where a third shift was added, noted Lampi.

Due to the repair work, water was being run through the plant at a lower capacity but faster rate requiring the plant to operate 24 hours a day to provide the usual supply of water, he said. When water travels through the plant faster, it also requires more filtration due to less settling time, he added.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143, jlancour@dailypress.net