COLUMBIA — Columbia Water and Light will hold a meeting Thursday evening to hear public input on six potential routes for a proposed 16-inch water main in northeast Columbia.
The meeting will be from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School media room, 5801 Arbor Pointe Parkway.
The water main would improve drinking water services to residents, ensure sufficient water pressure for firefighting and provide additional water for the Stephens Station Water Tower, said Connie Kacprowicz, utility services specialist at Columbia Water and Light.
"It actually is a fairly good distribution-sized line," she said, referring to the water main's diameter.
Engineering Surveys and Services helped the department establish potential routes for the water main. Six possible routes will be presented at the meeting Thursday. Three routes will be for the north section of the water line, and three will be for the south section.
The public will be able to select its preference for both the north and south sections at the meeting, said Tomas Zajicek, water engineering supervisor at the department. There are nine potential combinations of the north and south sections.
The proposed line would tie into an existing pipe near the intersection of Mexico Gravel Road and Lake of the Woods Road and extend northwest to the water tower.
The water main will be funded through a bond issue passed in 2008, which has funded a number of projects on the north side of town.
"This is just a continuation of a project we've been working on for several years," Kacprowicz said.
She said the department would be able to determine the cost of the project after it selects the entire route.
Kacprowicz said the criteria considered when the six potential routes were drawn up included cost of construction, ease of maintenance, current construction in the same area, potential environmental impacts and avoiding hazardous materials such as buried infrastructure.
Zajicek said letters have been sent to property owners and residents who would be affected by the potential routes.
The department plans to present the six possible options and two preferences based on the different criteria, public input and agreement from the Water and Light advisory board at a public hearing during a Columbia City Council meeting.
Kacprowicz said it would likely be at least three months until the public hearing. The council has final approval on the route.
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