Wausau Finance Committee approves $150K stop-gap action on PFAS

PFAS discovered
PFAS discovered(MGN)
Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 6:45 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - In a unanimous vote by the Wausau Finance committee, they have approved an immediate action response to Wausau’s PFAS water contamination problem.

The Committee has earmarked $150,000 from the American Rescue Plan Funding to immediately purchase a combination of bottled water and water filtration devices.

Earlier in the meeting, the committee approved spending $13,200 on bottled water. That motion was amended to the $150K motion after hearing various solutions for immediate action and coming to the conclusion the bottled water and the filtration devices can be much sooner than later.

The other scenarios discussed would have taken anywhere between 30-60 days up to 16-23 weeks.

One option was to establish reverse osmosis filling stations around the city. The estimated cost would have been $25,000-$35,000 per unit. The plan would have been to order 6 units, placing 3 on each side of the river. That would have taken anywhere from 30-60 days to implement, and would have had to been approved at the next city council meeting and not the one on Tuesday. Further delaying any actions.

Another option was to set up a mobile system at the water treatment plant. That would have filtrated the water at the plant, in a separate system outside, before it heads out for distribution. The cost on that would have been $1.5-2 million. It also would have taken, at minimum, 16-23 weeks to get it up and running. And that’s without any delays. Seeing the new water treatment plant opens in 6 months, the committee had a hard time with this option.

When the bottled water and filters/pitchers will be available is contingent on how quickly orders are placed and can be delivered.

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