Tri States Public Radio Staff
Sun August 9, 2009
Keokuk: Boat Could Help Sewer Project
Keokuk, IA – City leaders hope the purchase of a small boat will save Keokuk millions of dollars in sewer system improvements.
Keokuk has been told that it must separate its sanitary and storm-water sewer system to address overflow issues. The price tag could be as high as $75-million dollars.
Keokuk has joined with several other Iowa communities to combat the mandates from the EPA and the DNR. One tool for doing that will be the boat.
The boat, motor, and trailer will cost Keokuk about $30,000. Public Works Director Gerald Moughler says the boat will be used to conduct water quality tests in the Mississippi River.
Moughler says that starts out with background tests. We are going to go out there and pull samples during low water conditions," he says, "and determine what the fecal content is in the river."
The city will eventually conduct tests, during severe weather, to gauge the impact of sewer overflow on the Mississippi River. Moughler says the goal is to have the scope of Keokuk's project scaled back by millions of dollars.
The testing will be handled by city employees and could get underway the week of August 16. The boat could also be used by the Keokuk Fire Department for emergency situations.