The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

June 17, 2013

Lightning damages city communications equipment

OTTUMWA — After lightning struck the water tower in Memorial Park, the public works department has been struggling to communicate with the city's pump stations.

In May, lightning struck Memorial Park's water tower, damaging nearly $20,000 worth of radio antennas, receivers, a repeater and other related equipment.

"It took awhile to get somebody down to look at the problem," said Public Works Director Larry Seals.

The damaged equipment means his department now has difficulty communicating with the city's 22 sanitary pump stations. Without a functioning communications system, public works staff can't remotely monitor and control any of the pump stations.

"We can usually see them all, and then we can control five of them from the plant, turning them on and off, usually when there are rain events," Seals said. "We used to have staff go around to every pump station every day through auto dialers, where they dial the plant to let us know if there's a high-level alarm. We would have somebody out there multiple times during the day. To cut down on the number of trips that have to be run to the remote stations, we could view them. If errors occur, we have to have staff run out ... and there are a multitude of things that can go wrong."

A pump station lifts water from sanitary or storm sewers from a low area to a higher area "where we can get it into the gravity line," he said.

"Some pumps run from a low point all the way to the treatment plant, and some simply de-water the line if it's over capacity," he said.

The city should be able to recoup around $9,500 of the total cost through insurance coverage, lowering the city's payment to $10,320.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0731 OTT Aviation plane -T -M Flying free OTTUMWA — The financial obstacle may have been removed if your career goal starts with learning to fly. "We have it set up for three terms, about nine months," said pilot and chief flight instructor Darren Graham at Indian Hills Community College. "

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supervisors discuss pipeline potential KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisors received preliminary, general information on a new pipeline being proposed to carry oil from North Dakota through Iowa, including Van Buren County, then crossing into Illinois. The proposed Bakken Pipeline wou

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairfield stabbing suspects' trials separated FAIRFIELD — The three people accused of dragging a man into a Fairfield apartment before robbing and stabbing him have had a judge grant their requests to separate their trials. Dawn Dunn, Dustin Roll and Brett Hedblade are each charged with willful

    July 30, 2014

  • Local business donates grain rescue tube KEOSAUQUA — Stockport Elevator, owned by Roquette America, donated a grain rescue tube to Birmingham and Stockport Fire Departments. A training session was conducted Monday, led by Dale Ekdahl, a representative of Outstate Data, LLC, the device’s man

    July 30, 2014

  • Where do my taxes go? OTTUMWA — Wapello County Board certified its tax levy. But what does that mean? Based on budgets submitted by various levying authors, the Wapello County Auditor prepares and certifies the levy rates for the county. Budgets for each levy are based on

    July 30, 2014

  • OCSD releases elementary supplies list

    OTTUMWA — For years, parents of the students in Ottumwa's elementary schools have had to check to make sure the school supplies list they grabbed was the right one for their school. No more.

    July 30, 2014

  • Reducing runoff at the local level AGENCY — Pollution isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you look out at a field of Iowa corn or soybeans, but there’s growing concern about what manages to get out of the fields and into the water. The same nutrients that benefit the crops c

    July 30, 2014

  • Supervisors wrestle with staffing woes KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisor Chairman Bob Waugh says he wants county supervisors to help alleviate staffing problems within the county treasurer’s office. In May, supervisors opted not to replace a vacancy within the treasurer’s office. Va

    July 30, 2014

  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook