Manufacturer washes hands of responsibility for faulty filter

Manufacturer washes hands of responsibility for faulty filter

Marion officials looking for solution to plumbing problem

news@theeveningtimes.com

The manufacturers of the equipment in Marion’s new filter plant don’t believe they are responsible for sand and gravel getting into the city’s drinking water.

Mayor Frank Fogleman told the city council that he received a letter from Tonka Water Treatment Solutions stating that they do not believe their equipment is the cause of the problem, but want to be present when the repairs are made.

“Essentially they are saying they don’t believe they have any responsibility,” Fogleman said. “But, if we decide to get into the repairs, they want to be here.”

The letter states that “if the problem is attributed to a manufacturer’s defect, you will not be charged for the site visit, and we will work with you to immediately correct the issue. If the problem is attributed to the problems stated above, we will provide recommendations and guidance on how to proceed.”

“So basically they haven’t said anything,” Fogleman said.

The city had to shut down the water filter plant on Washington Street because it is allowing filter media to get into the system. The filter media is a fine layer of sand and gravel which is used to remove impurities from drinking water.

The cause of the problem and who is responsible — whether it is faulty equipment or due to improper installation by B& B Utility Contractors — is unknown.

The city has notified both Tonka and B& B that as far as they are concerned, it is a warranty issue and they want it fixed.

Finding out the cause of the problem will require the city to remove all of the media.

The city notified B& B of the problem, but so far has not received an answer from them. The city has a holdback payment of $19,000 which it is withholding from B& B until they can get to the bottom of the problem.

“The contractor hasn’t responded at all,” Fogleman said. “And this letter says about the same thing — nothing.”

Fogleman said Jerome Alford of Bond Engineering has indicated that the filter plant has already lost a lot of the filter media and the city will need to dig it up to get to the bottom of the problem.

“The contractor can be there if they want to be.

Tonka can be there if they want to. They can all be there to see to it that we don’t damage anything while we are uncovering it to try and figure out the cause of the problem,” Fogleman said. “They essentially

gave us no response. So, I am afraid it is

going to fall on us.”

Water Department manager Jim Shempert told the council he believes one of the air or water nozzles has malfunctioned and is causing the problem.

On a related matter, the council approved paying $4,500 in restitution for repairs to East Arkansas Youth Services which is located next to the filter plant and suffered damage to its

plumbing.

By Mark Randall

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