NEWTONIA — Some residents in Newton County PWSD No. 1 will soon get an upgrade to their water system.

NEWTONIA — Some residents in Newton County PWSD No. 1 will soon get an upgrade to their water system.
On Friday, Newtonia and Stark City officials, residents, and project leaders celebrated with a ground breaking. The new well will be located corner of Shetland Road and 86 Highway, about two miles east of Newtonia.
"We were contacted by these people (PWSD #1 of Newton County which serves Newtonia and Stark City) two or three years ago," said Pat O'Bryant project engineer Simmons Engineering of Republic, Mo. "Two issues primarily going on down here, one they had a huge amount of lost and unaccounted water that was escaping through probably the great majority of the older pipes in the system, they were a thinned wall plastic pipe with a glued joints, none of which would be used in that application today, but at the time it was state of the art. It has been in service for almost 50 years. We think what is happening is most of the joints are starting to fail. Then there were big issues when they had a big leak they had to fix it. Then in the western part of the district, there has primarily been a low pressure issue with the people basically from Newtonia out to the (East Newton) high school and into the subdivision just to the west there. Because they have very minimal water pressure. when the system was put in..."
The other tower/well is located between Newtonia and Stark City and has been around about 50 years.
"The ground is a lot higher out here (where the new well is being constructed) than over at the existing water tower," he said. "Plus, when they ran from Newtonia all the way out past the school, they only ran 4 inches (pipes). It wasn't big enough either."

The project
"This is about a $3.1 million project," O'Bryant said. "US Department of Agriculture Rural Development, they are funding the lion share of it about $2.2 million. The loan they have to pay back but a low interest loan, 35 years. then we were also able to get an almost $900,000 grant on behalf of the villages of Newtonia and Stark City through the community development block grant (CDBG)."
O'Bryant said the two villages will have to pay roughly over $1 million.
"The project itself consists of three different parts, and bided to three different contractors," he said. "The first contract is for the water well - which they have already done the preliminary drilling. We will be erecting a water stand pipe out here, rather than putting in the larger ball shape. But it will be of sufficient size, 110 feet tall, to provide increased water pressures out here in this part of the water district. (another part) is the lines buried, it is roughly 60,000 feet of pipe, almost half of that is 8-inch line. Most of the rest is 6 and 4 inch."
O'Bryant said they will dig 1,200 feet.
"The well will be able to produce essentially the same amount of water as to the other," he said. "Completion will be if we have reasonable weather probably will be done in end of May 2018."