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Pingree water pump repaired, back on-line

Updated: December 22, 2012 6:20AM

PINGREE GROVE — One of the two pumps that provide the village with fresh water is now back on-line, four months after a mechanical failure forced its shutdown and resulting water use restrictions in Pingree Grove.

“Everything went great, especially since the way things were looking it was going to be way into December before we could get things on-line,” water and sewer superintendent Gary Zickuhr said this week.

The well was discovered inoperable on July 25, and the motor was sent to Texas to be diagnosed and fixed. Repair costs totaled just over $121,000.

Failure of the motor caused the pump to fail, according to Zickuhr. Several components were identified as possible culprits, but he said it is hard to say exactly which one was to blame.

Zickuhr said the pump was reinstalled two weeks ago and tests were conducted to ensure the safety of the water. A required permit was secured from the state Nov. 13.

“After that, we were we were ready to go back on-line again with that well to start supplying water,” Zickuhr said.

While the well was out of commission, the village ran on its only remaining well. To keep from stressing that pump, outside water restrictions were put in place in the village, through one of the worst droughts in history.

Trustees approved $10,895 to install a submersible “level transducer” in the well, so staff can measure the water level at all times. Zickuhr said this will allow staff to monitor the health of the system and the aquifer.

Staff award

In other village water news, the Pingree Grove water and sewer staff received a rare honor from the sate of Illinois this week when they were awarded a certificate for excellence in maintaining the level of fluoride in the village’s drinking water.

Fluoride is added to drinking water to prevent tooth decay and promote good oral hygiene. It’s tested daily, and one sample is sent each month to a certified lab for verification. Pingree Grove has achieved the required level for five years straight.

According to Zickuhr, the Illinois Fluoridation Act sets the required fluoride level at .85 and 1.2 parts per million. Plants are required to maintain that level throughout the month.

“Five years straight is not easy to do,” said Zickuhr, who has been with the village for all of that time. He has been in charge of the plant since the village took over operations from Zickuhr’s former employer, MGD Water Systems.

He credited his crew’s diligence for the achievement and acknowledged his former boss, Mike Megurdichian, for setting a high standard. “It always starts at the top, and Mike felt this was important,” Zickuhr said. “It’s how we approach our job every day, and this is one component of that.”

He added, “We’re responsible for the water people drink, and we take that very seriously.”

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