Gainesville City Council discusses sewer issues due to flushable wipes, other items

The Gainesville City Council met for their regular monthly meeting Feb. 13 at City Hall. 

One topic of discussion centered around the city’s sewer system issues they’ve seen with residents flushing tampons, flushable wipes and other items down the toilet. “We even found a shoe,” Mike Davis, City Maintenance Supervisor said. The city urges residents to only flush toilet paper down the toilet. They say that although flushable wipes say they are “flushable” and you are able to flush them, they are not sewer safe and wreak havoc on the city sewer system. 

In other news, Gainesville resident Buddy Smart attended the meeting to ask for forgiveness for an excessive sewer bill due to a leak at a commercial building that caused 31,000 gallons of water to run onto the ground rather than into the city sewer system. Smart fixed the leak immediately. Normally, the property’s sewer charge is $20-$25 a month. The city council adjusted the bill back to its normal amount. 

Debra Schilling Smith had originally planned to attend the meeting to address the city council about the vote to not allow residential zoning on the square. She called and said she was not able to make the meeting. 

In a maintenance report, Mike Davis told the council his work has focused on cold mix street patching and fixing leaks and putting in a chlorine pump. 

In a wastewater treatment plant report, Davis said that he and fellow employee Levi Evans have been working toward figuring out what to do about the layer of waste sludge that will need to be removed before spring. Davis and the council decided to figure out what testing needs to be done to allow Rocky Sullivan to remove the sludge with a pump truck and spread it on fields, which will require a PH test of that land.  

In a water report, Jessi Price said that the center water loss went down, but the east and west have gone up. In the month of January, they had one leak on the east side that they found and repaired, and a leak on the west that was also found and repaired. 

The lift station at the high school weight room was having issues, and it was replaced with brand new parts. 

Two sewer lines were backed up, and employees spent a couple days jetting and clearing the lines. 

Price said that city employees recently escorted representatives from Toth and Associates, the city’s hired engineering firm, to all areas of the water system element and sewer treatment plant so they could gather measurements and information to begin the process of the $5.6 million grant funded repairs and overhaul that will take place in the coming years. 

The council opened bids for auditing services. The council accepted the only submitted bid, which included a quote for auditing services from 2016 until 2023. It was accepted.  

Gainesville Mayor Gail Reich said Kevin Piland with the Gainesville Fire Department saved the city a lot of money by finding a bare wire in a wiring harness in the fire truck, saving the city a repair bill. The council discussed various ways to recognize Piland and other standout firefighters efforts. 

In closed session, the council voted to approve a cost of living increase for all city council employees. 

The next regularly scheduled monthly Gainesville City Council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at City Hall. The meetings are open to the public. 

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423