Maintenance at the City of Graham water treatment plant will begin ahead of schedule next week and carry an estimated bill of $10,000, according to public works administrator David Casteel.

“We weren’t expecting to have to do that for about another Six months,” Casteel said.

Work is being done to the settling basin at the facility, a pond that serves as a means of recycling water used to clean the plant’s filters. The process for cleaning the filters sends lake water backwards through them, ridding the filters of sediment.

Water that was pushed backwards through the filters and is now choked with sediment is piped to the settling pond where solids are allowed to settle to the bottom, allowing usable water to be collected from the top. The pond is currently so full of sediment that the plant has been unable to re-use any of the backwash water since last week.

“So, we’re having to go in and clean those sediments out,” Casteel said. “It’s more of a conservation issue. We would rather reuse that water than use up more water from the lake.”

According to waterdatafor, as of Monday Lake Graham was at just over 50% capacity.

Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.