Water drain - stock

Longview’s water committee is one meeting away from sending the city back to the Cowlitz River.

On Thursday, the group of 14 is set to figure out its final recommendation for improving Longview’s water system.

It is likely to recommend returning to the Cowlitz instead of trying to solve silica and taste and odor concerns at the oft-maligned Mint Farm wells.

The committee has thus far leaned toward getting the city’s water from the Cowlitz River, whether by riverbed Ranney wells or a surface intake similar to (or a rebuilding of) the Fisher’s Lane plant.

Any change in the water supply has been estimated to cost an average of at least $10 per month in addition to current bills.

The citizen committee is tasked with giving City Council a recommendation on improving Longview’s water supply as part of a $217,000 study launched a year ago. The recommendation is due next month.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 1525 Broadway.

Even if a Cowlitz River recommendation is delivered and the City Council agrees to go along, it would take years for a new system to come online. The committee will also briefly consider interim improvements to make up for that gap.

The group will also consider comments received since its last meeting and an open house earlier this month.

As always, there will be a short time during the meeting for public comment.

Contact Daily News reporter Brooks Johnson at 360-577-7828 or bjohnson@tdn.com.

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