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Corning Water System
Improvements to the City of Corning's water system will begin about June 1,
2004, thanks to the award of a KAN STEP grant and local volunteers who will
install a complete new water system. Corning is extreme northeastern Kansas,
about 12 miles south of Seneca in southern Nemaha County. KAN STEP is the
acronym for Kansas Small Town Environment Program that is funded through the
Kansas Department of Commerce. KAN STEP has successfully used "sweat equity" to
help communities reduce costs of water system improvements in several
communities and numerous fire stations and community centers in Kansas.
The water system project at Corning will include the installation of 27 new
valves, an estimated 3,300 feet of 6-inch pipe, 10,000 feet of 4-inch pipe,
8,200 feet of 2-inch PE pipe and a new service for each of the city's 100
customers. The existing system is composed of the old black ABS plastic and
asbestos concrete pipeline. Historically, it's a common practice to shut off the
entire town anytime there was a main break or fire hydrant needing repair or
replacement. This proves to make a mess for something like a leaking meter or
fire hydrant replacement. Repair materials for ABS are difficult to obtain and
make. The ABS is very prone to breakage.
The new distribution system will allow for looping of sections of the system to
improve fire flow and or improve capabilities for flushing. The project also
involves replacement of 14 fire hydrants.
This project will have a major impact on Corning's water system, as it will
allow the city to isolate only affected areas for maintenance and repairs. This
new water system will provide a much greater integrity to the city's water
system. Corning purchases water from Rural Water District No. 3, Nemaha County.
The estimated value of the project is $498,170. The KAN STEP grant is for
$258,135. The city is realizing a savings of $240,035 from retail costs through
the use of volunteer labor.
The project representative for the Corning Water System is Leo Wessel.
Schwab-Eaton, P.A., Manhattan is the project engineer. Grant administration is
being provided by the Rural Development Agency of Northeast Kansas, based in
Sabetha. Kansas Rural Water Association will provide inspection services and
Corning kicks off project with safety meeting
There is great excitement in Corning at the eminent prospect of the new water
distribution system. Volunteers met Wednesday, May 26, 2004 with staff from
Kansas Rural Water -- Greg Duryea, Pete Koenig and Elmer Ronnebaum -- for
instructions on using proper safety procedures in trenching and excavation as
well as a discussion and show n'tell of materials and correct installation
methods. Work on the project is scheduled to begin the first week of June.
The final word with this opening bell? As in other KAN STEP projects that have
been completed across Kansas, there will undoubtedly be a new respect for "sweat
equity" at Corning -- but the city will not be in debt for the new water system
and Corning will enjoy clear, clean, reliable water for years to come.