No decisions were made as the meeting was for discussion only.
Consulting engineers noted that Alta's existing water treatment facility is nearing the end of its lifespan, and Storm Lake is also
beginning to look toward a future new plant with larger capacity, likely to be developed within five to seven years.
Both communities are growing, but Alta water use is estimated at between 5 and 8% of Storm Lake usage. The DNR is encouraging use of regional water strategy, an ISG engineer told the group.
Engineers said that Alta water is significantly "harder" than that from Storm Lake wells, and would require more treatment to reach the same quality.
If Alta were to purchase its water from Storm Lake, water line could be extended from Lake Creek, which Storm Lake already serves. Alta's existing tower and delivery lines could continue to be used.
If Alta decides to pursue the regional water agreement, Storm Lake officials would like an indication within the next year and a half, so it could plan for that capacity as it begins work toward a treatment facility. Engineers said that Alta would continue to use its own facilities until Storm Lake completes a treatment plant with the necessary capacity.
Alta Mayor Kevin Walsh said that his community's decision will ultimately be made by the municipal utilities board, and that a joint meeting between the Alta council and AMU may be held in the future for additional discussion. He noted that, "In order to be a good partnership it has to be good for both partners," and thanked the Storm Lake officials for attending and being open to the discussion.