Next step for Talkeetna’s arsenic treatment arrives

The next phase of the Talkeetna Sewer and Water utility’s effort to install a treatment system has arrived in Talkeetna. The 15 by 40 foot connex headed down Main Street in Talkeetna a little after noon on today.

The unit will house the treatment system that will put Talkeetna back into compliance with EPA standards. It has been placed on pillars high above the flood plain.

For the last two years, the Borough has been applying for grants to get a treatment system in place to deal with the arsenic level in the water.  EPA changed the acceptable level of arsenic nationwide from 50 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion.  Talkeetna’s water sits at 14 parts per billion, just above the acceptable level.  It sent Borough officials scrambling for grants that would help offset the 2 million dollar cost of a treatment system.

Talkeetna is not the only location scrambling to pay for a treatment system.  The on site manager of the Talkeetna project, employed by HDL,  says Kenai had the worst arsenic situation of the dozens of communities across Alaska dealing with the new compliance.

Jeff Walden is the Borough project manager on the job and has spent many hours over the past year or two looking for money to pay for the system.  Several grants to the tune of one point seven million dollars have been received at a low interest rate.

Even though the unit itself has arrived, the parts and pieces that are housed in the unit still need to be shipped.  Walden projects the treatment system will be up and running by mid November or earlier. Walden says Chase residents need to be aware that much of the parking area has gone away, but Borough community services is looking at parking possibilities for the future  ####

Su Valley Voice with Sewer and Water man Chuck Jacobs

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