The city of Lebo's water main project continues. City clerk Carrie Sloan says it's nearly halfway complete, with work underneath the railroad tracks completed. The ongoing project aims to replace the water lines in downtown Lebo, which had been in place since the 1950s, with new ones.
Sloan said the project has hit a few snags recently. Last month, a contract crew hit an existing water main on accident, causing a loss of pressure and leading to the first boil advisory in Sloan's 22 years as acting city clerk. Fortunately no contaminants were found after water sample tests were conducted by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Also, water lines had to be re-routed around an area of contaminated soil along Third Street where an old gas station used to be. Sloan said the underground fuel tanks rust out and leak fuel residue into the surrounding soil, causing what's known as "hot soil." Sloan said the KDHE will replace the contaminated soil with fresh dirt, using money from a specialized fund to do so. To get the project done on time, the lines were relocated around the troublesome soil. Sloan said a very strong gasoline smell eminates from the soil in that area on Third Street, and this soil does not pose a danger to people or property. A timeline for the soil replacement is unclear.
Sloan said the project should be finished by the end of June -- granted there are no more surprises.