Kind ruling would save Galva residents and city big money

Doug Boock
David Dyer, Galva city administrator, is hopeful of a favorable ruling March 31 on Galva's boron content in wastewater.

If all goes well at a public hearing in Galva on Tuesday, the city and its residents will be spared great expense on its water system.

The hearing, held 11 a.m. upstairs at City Hall, will find the city seeking the Illinois Pollution Control Board’s acceptance of current boron levels in water discharged from the city’s waste treatment plant.

The issue is with boron in the city’s wastewater - waste which has been treated - and not drinking water.

“We’re actually outside of guidelines,” conceded City Administrator David Dyer on March 24.

The city’s current boron level in wastewater is a little over the standard of 1 milligram per liter. The city has petitioned the Pollution Control Board, asking for a 3 milligram-per-liter limit. It’s likely to get it, too, it appears. Dyer said the state has allowed other municipalities to raise their standards - some perhaps as high as 9 or 12 milligrams per liter.

“We expect a favorable ruling,” Dyer said.

That would negate all solutions the city’s considered thus far - all costly ones:

*a water pipeline from Galesburg, costing $16 million

*a water pipeline from Kewanee, $8 million

*reverse osmosis, $6.9 million

*ion exchange, $2 million

“It’s not going to be good if we don’t get (approval),” Dyer said.

Particularly painful would be the water line from Galesburg, an idea first raised in 2005. It would have hit residents and the city extremely hard financially.

“It’s just astronomical,” Dyer said of the Galesburg water line. “It would have broken the back of the city financially. I don’t see how we could have taken it.”