Lake Auburn intake cleaning gets Lewiston council OK


LEWISTON — Councilors had no problem Tuesday sharing the costs of cleaning algae from the Twin Cities drinking water intake line at Lake Auburn.

They agreed unanimously to pay half of the $183,000 cost for a much-needed scrubbing of the Lake Auburn intake pipe that feeds water to both cities.

Councilors reviewed plans at a workshop last week to clean algae from the intake grates in the middle of Lake Auburn.

Crews would begin working on the project in mid-December. It should be finished by Christmas.

Both cities’ water is supplied by single 48-inch intake installed in the middle of the lake in 1996. It’s designed to pump water from the center and bottom of the lake, relatively free of winter ice and sediment. The intake is about 900 feet into the lake and about 50 feet below the water’s surface.

Regular inspections turned up few problems until 2011, when lake algae was discovered. A video survey of the intake last fall showed coatings of two inches along the inside of the pipe.

The plan is to hire a company to build a temporary intake and then scrub the permanent intake with brushes, removing any debris.

Lewiston’s share of the cost should be paid from a 2013 bond issue. That money was set aside to pay for water quality treatments to quell last-minute algae blooms this past summer. Those blooms didn’t happen and that money was not used.

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