The Montana Rural Water Association recently named Rodney Olson the 2018 Manager of the Year at their annual conference in February. The following comes from their presentation of the award.
“This year’s awardee is a manager by name, but a leader by example. As one who oversees the operations, our awardee is also someone who works among his employees – striving for staff to work with him, not just for him. This manager’s well-organized style is always open to ideas from staff and board members.
Our recipient has continued to be involved with the steady growth of the community and as manager, has continued a progressive outlook for the future of the utility. Ensuring a connection with the community’s extensive customers, he provides an outreach of water system information through various communication methods including the utility’s website and on-site presentations for customers and youth groups.
Using a keen sense to manage operation and maintenance of an extensive system, tackling expansion challenges, maintaining regulation compliance and ensuring system operators are up to date with training and certification, are just some of the ingredients that he has assisted with to put the utility ahead of the game.
The 2018 Manager of the Year is awarded to Rodney Olson, with the Lakeside County Water & Sewer District.”
We would like to welcome the South Eighty Subdivision to the District. Located north of Somers Bay and south of Best View Estates, the South Eighty Subdivision consists of 26 residences with a potential for growth to 49. The water system consists of one water supply well, eight (8) hydropneumatic storage tanks in an underground vault, and a distribution system.
The South eighty homeowners were experiencing problems with water pressure and contamination. LCWSD was able to offer a long term approach to solving their water system issues as well as providing an attractive funding option. As with other water systems, a subdistrict within the LCWSD was created for the purpose of funding the necessary upgrades and maintenance using a special assessment that will be levied on those individual properties over a period of ten years.
Upgrades and improvements to the water system include a pumphouse, storage reservoir, a second well, pressure reducing valve (PRV), and all piping and electrical circuity to meet current DEQ requirements.
We are happy to have the South Eighty subdivision become a part of our District as the addition of more users helps to defray the ever increasing costs of maintaining the water systems.
The District recently purchased a new pivot for the treatment site. The treatment facility, located approximately one mile north of Highway 82 and one mile east of Highway 93, consists of two 2.5-acre aerated treatment lagoons and two larger storage ponds for winter storage of treated effluent. Disposal of the effluent is accomplished through a slow rate land application (irrigation) system on a 160-acre field located northwest of the lagoons and farmed by a local farmer. We currently irrigate around 65 million gallons of effluent over 135 acres annually.
The existing pivot installed in 1987 was designed to produce 1000 GPM. As flows have increased over the years, the pivot has become less efficient, producing only about 745 GPM. Constant issues with the corner arm not shutting off properly, the pivot getting stuck in the wheel tracks, the inability to control the pivot, etc. have proved to be a major challenge just trying to keep it running through the season. Over $12,000 in labor and parts was expended in 2014 just to troubleshoot and repair the pivot.
The new Reinke pivot will generate the 1000 GPM needed to spread the effluent evenly over the field and comes with full control that can be managed from staff phones or computers. It has tires more suitable for our soil type and saturation level. The pivot also has an end gun so the whole field (160 acres) can be sprayed, resulting in more effluent being disposed of and the farmer realizing a bigger harvest. Purchased from Treasure State Irrigation in Kalispell, support is provided locally.
Through sound financial planning, LCWSD depreciated the old pivot over time and planned for a future replacement. The District was able to make this $125,000 purchase using reserved funds generated from the monthly customer utility payments. The old pivot will be sold and the proceeds used for future projects. This is just one example of how your payments are used not only to provide water/sewer service to your home and/or business, but to ensure the system is maintained to meet the ever increasing needs of our community.