Plant head: Filtering rank NC water costly |

Plant head: Filtering rank NC water costly

A cold-water-loving algae and possibly some other organic nutrients may be why Nevada City’s water smells bad, the water treatment plant operator said Monday.

The water comes from a reservoir near the water treatment plant off Banner Mountain Trail, said plant operator Chris Towne, who stressed that the water is safe. He said the bad smell occurs during the cold months when the reservoir is low. For some unknown reason, the smell occurs only in some areas, he said.

Installing a granular-activated carbon filter could be cost-prohibitive, Towne told the City Council Monday.

Councilman Steve Cottrell asked Towne for a ballpark figure. “The citizens expect us to filter the water,” Cottrell said.

Towne, who could not give an exact figure, answered “mucho bucks.” He said he will soon give a new report to the council.

In the meantime, Towne will lower the reservoir to clear some of the brush and organic matter, which he said could contribute to the smell.

In another matter, Nevada County’s Habitat for Humanity could build a house on a Searls Avenue lot donated by Erickson Realty Ltd. of Beaverton, Ore., Habitat representatives said.

Erickson has not yet donated the land, Norm Westmore, a Habitat board member, said Monday. “The Searls property seems to fit our need.”

Erickson would donate the land if the city agrees to waive city fees and rezone the land, he said.

Council members said they want to make sure the property will remain affordable.

City officials and Habitat representatives could meet Wednesday to discuss an agreement. A draft agreement could be ready in two weeks, City Attorney Jim Anderson said after the meeting.

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