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Published April 26, 2011, 09:20 PM

EGF City Council Working on Details for Wastewater Connection

In the city council's work session Tuesday, council members were trying to figure out if connecting the sewer lines with Grand Forks will be fair for the residents of East Grand Forks.

The city of East Grand Forks is still working out the details for a new wastewater treatment plant that would connect with Grand Forks.

In the city council's work session Tuesday, council members were trying to figure out if connecting the sewer lines with Grand Forks will be fair for the residents of East Grand Forks.

The city could upgrade the existing waste water ponds, connect them with Grand Forks, or do nothing. But the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency doesn't think the last option is a good idea.

"As I stated, they know the system leaks, they are concerned with contaminating the ground water and it contaminating other wells. The system is not performing to design standards and the system has structural issues," EGF city engineer Greg Boppre said.

To update the existing lagoons would cost $15.4 million and might require the city to build a new treatment facility as well. Connecting with Grand Forks would cost $9.6 million and could result in more tillable farmland.

But one council member is not so trusting of the of an aging wastewater treatment plant.

"How are we going to control the price in the future if we go to Grand Forks? I think you have some problems with the plant, it's getting older, it's going to take considerable repairs. So, I think there is a serious question whether your numbers are correct," council member Henry Tweten said.

"There has certainly been other issues with Grand Forks that we have to work out unfortunately, but I don't want those things to bother with this decision. I think our residents need to know that we exhausted all avenues and this is the best way to go," council member Greg Leigh said.

Tweten thinks there should be more research.

"I think the engineers and everybody else involved, we better take and get information because this is a heavy commitment, except for the flood, it's going to be the heaviest commitment any council has made," Tweten said.

The city council will hold a public hearing on May 3rd about the Grand Forks Connection.

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