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ESTABLISHED IN 1908 n www.ColumbiaMissourian.com
Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fire district to vote on staff salary ranges LOCAL WATER ISSUES


The chief’s salary
tops the maximum
suggested amount.
The salary review committee
is led by board member Shelly
Dometrorch, who made salaries
the centerpiece of her 2005 cam-
specific dollar amounts for each
bracket and what to do about
employees with salaries outside
of the recommended range. The
opt to hire Paulsell as a con-
tractor at a salary outside the
range set by the consultant, or
do nothing.
High chloride
levels found
committee recommended staff By comparison, the fire
By JARED GASSEN paign for the board. The commit-
members below the minimum chief of the Lincoln, Neb., Fire
and PAUL WEBER tee, which first met in Novem- range receive a raise to the Department cannot make more
news@ColumbiaMissourian.com ber 2007, conducted a review of base salary for their respective than $129,452 annually. The Lin-
The Boone County Fire Pro- each staff position and salary in bracket. coln department operates 14 fire
tection District’s board of direc- the fire district compared with

in 2 city wells
Paulsell’s salary is one of stations staffed by 276 career
tors is set to decide the salary seven similar fire departments two that exceed the maximum firefighters and serves about
ranges for all paid staff posi- around the country. amount recommended by the 250,000 citizens. The Lincoln
tions — including Fire Chief The committee then grouped salary review commission, department also has a FEMA-
Steve Paulsell — at a special staff positions and gave each a Dometrorch said. His salary funded urban search and res-
board meeting Thursday. salary bracket with position-spe- exceeds the maximum by about cue task force similar to Boone
The vote comes three months cific minimum and maximum $25,000. Mechanic Jim Jennings County’s Missouri Task Force
after a paid consultant, Bob salary recommendations. makes $700 more than his sal- One. Wastewater used to harmful to people, but its pres-
ence in the wells is an indicator
Scribner, submitted a report “We try to discuss this in ary bracket allows. The Boone County Fire Dis- flood state wetlands of change in the water in the
analyzing the salaries of the fire terms of the position, not who In 1994, Paulsell was making trict operates 14 fire stations
district’s paid administrative is in the position,” Dometrorch $75,582.94. Ten years later, he with about 300 volunteers and 14 might be culprit. alluvial plane that the city’s 15
wells tap into.
staffs. Salaries have been an said. was making more than $100,000 paid staff serving about 50,000 By SARA SHAHRIARI Former Columbia Water Plant
issue since John Gordon joined At the last board meeting, more. The board will decide if citizens. news@ColumbiaMissourian.com Superintendent John Betz, who
the board in 2004 and heard the board accepted the salary Paulsell’s $177,058.44 salary City of Columbia Fire Chief Two wells that supply drink- gave a June 22 presentation
complaints from fire district brackets proposed by the salary should be frozen or reduced to Bill Markgraf makes $99,114 ing water to Columbia have at Columbia’s First Unitarian
volunteers that salaries of some review committee. The board is the top of the bracket for his annually. unusually high chloride levels, Church on possible reasons for
staff were inflated. set to decide Thursday on the position. The board could also Please see fire, page 6A according to documents sup- high trihalomethane levels in
plied to the Missourian by the Columbia’s drinking water, is
city Department of Water and concerned that city residents
Light. aren’t receiving enough infor-
High chloride levels in sam- mation about their water sup-
ples taken throughout the city’s ply and its problems.
well field indicate that efflu- Betz voiced the possibility
ent being used to flood Eagle that organic matter could be
Bluffs Conservation Area may carried along with chloride
be seeping into the well field, in the slow groundwater flow
according to a 2002 study by from the Eagle Bluffs wetlands
Brenda Smith of the U. S. Geo- to the well field. If organic
logical Survey in Columbia. The matter is carried into the wells,
sewage is treated at Columbia’s it could contribute to elevated
wastewater plant and piped to levels of trihalomethane, a car-
the Missouri River bottoms cinogen, in the city’s drinking
near McBaine for additional water.
treatment in municipal wet- Betz suggested that shutting
land cells. off wells 5 and 6 and continu-
Barry Kirchhoff, superinten- ing to monitor trihalomethane
dent of the city water treat- levels is a feasible step the city
ment plant, said he’s aware of could take to find out if water
the Geological Survey findings from these wells is affecting
and the possibility that treated trihalomethane levels in drink-
effluent used to flood the state- ing water.
owned conservation wetlands Trihalomethanes are a
is affecting groundwater in the byproduct of disinfection used
Missouri River bottoms that to rid drinking water of harm-
the city relies on for drinking ful bacteria that can be associ-
water. ated with organic matter.
Chloride is a major com- Kirchhoff said the city could
ponent of salt. Wastewater is meet its water demands with-
high in chloride because urine, out those two wells, but addi-
which is salty, breaks down tional testing information is
and leaves chloride behind. needed before considering tak-
Chloride is not known to be
Please see wells, page 6A

Liu Haipeng, from Inner Mongolia, cheers after Royals player David DeJesus hit a walk-off home run. Through
JIM BUELL/Missourian City searches for
ways to reduce
a translator, Haipeng described his first baseball game: “I don’t [understand] the rules, but I still feel it’s very
interesting.” Haipeng received the Santa hat free at the ballpark; the game’s theme was Christmas in July.

‘Glocalization’ trihalomethanes
The compounds have
been connected to
increased cancer risk.
halomethane levels, Kirchhoff
said. It has also begun flushing
water out of city water mains,
which drain water that has been
Eighteen delegates from By KOURTNEY GEERS
news@ColumbiaMissourian.com By SARA SHAHRIARI
standing in pipes. Water stand-
ing in pipes at high summer

I
Inner Mongolia, China, t was a confusing cultural moment, even
news@ColumbiaMissourian.com
Levels of trihalomethanes in
temperatures is believed to be
particularly susceptible to tri-
Columbia’s drinking water in
learn about American by U.S. standards. But imagine you’re from May again violated the Envi-
ronmental Protection Agency’s
halomethane formation, Kirch-
hoff said.
Inner Mongolia, China, attending your first In May, the city of Columbia
government and culture standards. The result from the
city’s latest sample found tri-
entered a $91,000 contract with
MU to conduct tests of the city’s
baseball game ever, on a beautiful Saturday in July, halomethanes at 101 parts per water system.
and you’re handed a Santa hat at the gates. billion, said Barry Kirchhoff, The university team, lead by
superintendent of the Columbia Enos Inniss, assistant professor
For a group of government officials from Inner Water Treatment Plant. in the MU College of Engineer-
Trihalomethanes are com- ing, will sample water through-
Mongolia, getting a taste of American culture at pounds that form when chlo- out the city’s water distribu-
rine, which is added to drinking tion system to determine where
a Royals game in Kansas City, it was just one water to kill potentially harmful trihalomethanes are forming.
bacteria, interacts with organic Sampling of water in the city’s
strange experience among many. They entered matter in the water. Trihalo- 15 wells has begun, Inniss said.
methanes have been linked with Columbia’s water is tested
the gates of Kauffman Stadium along with other increased risk of cancer. four times a year for trihalo-
The latest results are the methanes. Compliance tests of
groups from MU’s Asian Affairs Center, and were highest level of trihalometh- the city’s trihalomethanes lev-
anes found in the city’s drink- els occur near the end of the
handed Santa hats decorated with Royals mono- ing water in the past 10 years, city’s water lines, as water that
according to documents provid- travels farther in the system
grams. Salvation Army bell-ringers and a band ed by the city’s Department of leaves more time for trihalo-
Water and Light. methanes to form.
playing Christmas tunes welcomed them next. Based on May’s test results, According to EPA standards,
Kirchhoff said he expects the the average of any four tests
The theme of the night’s game was Christmas in city to receive another notice must be below 80 parts per
that it has exceeded the EPA’s billion. Columbia’s November
JIM BUELL/Missourian July, of course. limit of 80 parts per billion. 2007 sample pushed the year’s
Liu Haipeng joins the crowd in Columbia’s rising trihalo- average above this level, and
cheering after Royals player David methane levels have sent the
DeJesus hit a walk-off home run. Welcome to the heartland. city scrambling for short-term
remedies and long-term solu-
the public was notified of the
violation in May.
2007 was not the first time
Please see delegates, page 6A tions. the city’s drinking water had
The city has decreased the exceeded 80 parts per billion.
amount of chlorine it adds to the
water in hopes of decreasing tri- Please see levels, page 6A

Outside today Getting it right Index


HEADLINES

Mass. lawmakers act to end ban Our 100th year/#306


2 sections
The Massachusetts Senate on Tuesday voted to repeal This morning: Sunny and hot The Missourian’s policy is to check all local Abby 7A Lottery 2A 16 pages
an obscure 1913 law that has been used to keep out- with gentle south wind. stories for accuracy before publication. If Calendar 2A Opinion 7A
of-state same-sex couples from marrying there. The Temp: 91° you are a source of information, and we Classified 5B Sports 1B
House is expected to take similar action today, and This evening: Mostly clear and don’t double-check it with you, let us know. Comics 4B Sudoku 4B
Gov. Deval Patrick has promised to sign the repeal. warm with gentle south wind. If you spot a mistake, let us know that, too. Election 4A
— Los Angeles Times Temp: 67° Page 2A Call Tom Warhover at 573-882-5734. 6 54051 90850 3
Page 6A — WEDNESDAY, July 16, 2008 Columbia Missourian

Fire: New SOMETHING IN THE WATER


Columbia’s water supply comes from 15 groundwater wells. Wells 5 Wells: Use of effluent
member and 6, which are adjacent to a wetland area flooded with treated

on wetlands dates to ’94


wastewater, contain high levels of chloride. Chloride indicates that
treated wastewater from the wetlands might be getting into the wells.

opposes Wells
2
Wastewater
Boone Co.

CONTINUED from page 1A 159.6 parts per million in May


CONTINUED from page 1A 9, 10 treatment MAP ing them out of service. 2007. When chloride testing of
City Manager Bill Watkins wetlands k
AREA
Kirchhoff acknowledged the the wells began in 1999, well 5
makes $147,784. ee possibility that chloride from averaged 18 parts per million

.
K RD
Cr
R
But one of the board’s two he wastewater used to flood the for the year.
IVE

Wells rc Chloride levels in wastewater


Pe Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area

R OA
newest members, John William-
2, 7 are normally about 240 parts
RI R

son, said that he was “very much Water 1 could be contributing to the lev-
BUR
opposed” to lowering Paulsell’s Wells els found in wells 5 and 6. “Could per million, and chloride levels
1, 8 treatment
SOU

salary by $25,000. plant it get there?” he said. “I suspect in the Missouri River are about
Willia mson said, hypotheti- Wells K it’s possible.” 20 parts per million, Smith said.
MIS

HOOL RD.
cally, that “if at some point the 13, 14 Smith’s 2002 study for the Chloride levels in the city’s unaf-
chief is gonna retire, we prob- United States Geological Survey fected wells are also around 20
ably wouldn’t offer this salary to on the groundwater that sup- parts per million, according to
Wells 2 the Water and Light documents.
someone new.” Wells plies Columbia’s well field con-
SC

11, 12 Wastewater The use of treated effluent to


“Steve has had a very long 3, 4 cluded that groundwater under
R
TA

treatment
and very productive career as Eagle Bluffs is higher than in seasonally flood the Missouri
S

wetlands
the chief,” Williamson said of adjacent areas. This causes a Department of Conservation’s
Paulsell, who has been with the Well 15 4 slow flow of groundwater to Eagle Bluffs wetlands dates to
district over 30 years. surrounding areas with lower 1994, Kirchhoff said. When the BROOKE FLETCHER/ Missourian
Scribner said Tuesday he rec- water, such as the well field, wastewater is not used to flood Tim Campbell runs a sample
ommends the board accept the where the city wells average the wetlands, it is routed into the on the chlorine levels of
grid, but he declined to say how Wells 5 and 6 about 100 feet deep. Missouri River. Tim James of Columbia’s water supply.
salaries that exceed the maxi- The hill of water under the the Department of Conservation Chlorine is used to disinfect
mum for their range should be 3 Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area said that use of the wastewater
N and is a necessary component
adjusted. Eagle Bluffs “indicates potential for ground- saves a tremendous amount of
Conservation Area money compared with pumping
of safe drinking water.
Phone calls to Steve Paulsell 1 / 2 MILE water flow toward the city of
were not returned. Columbia well field,” Smith water from the Missouri River. that includes testing the levels
The fire chief’s March 24, wrote in 2002. The study also Everett Baker, an environ- of organic matter in wells 5 and
2005, contract stipulates that noted that elevated levels of mental engineer for the Mis- 6. The center is also sampling
1 Wastewater from toilets, sinks and showers goes through the first phase chloride, potassium, sulfate and souri Department of Natural drinking water in the distribu-
if the fire district reduces his of cleaning at the city sewage treatment plant off of Gillespie Bridge
salary or benefits more than Road. calcium found in samples taken Resources, said there are three tion system for trihalometh-
an across-the-board reduction in or near the well field indi- possible reasons for the high anes.
of all employees, Paulsell could 2 After leaving the plant, the water is pumped into wetland treatment cate that water is flowing from chloride levels in wells 5 and 6: Enos Inniss, assistant pro-
cells where it is cleaned further.
choose to be terminated and Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area treated wastewater entering the fessor in the MU College of
receive his severance package. toward the well field. wells, a crack in the bedrock Engineering’s Water Resources
Paulsell’s severance pay 3 The treated wastewater is then used on a seasonal basis to flood the Columbia’s wells 5 and 6 began beneath the wells that is leak- Research Center, said the center
Department of Conservation’s Eagle Bluffs Area, creating a wetland
would be a lump sum cash pay- habitat. to show above-average chlo- ing in highly mineralized water, has no results available on the
ment equal to six months’ salary ride levels in 2000, according or a salt or brine disposal site organic matter levels in wells
at the time of termination as to documents provided by the near the wells. The city has no 5 and 6. Smith said a study she
well as payment for all accrued 4 This treated wastewater is soaking into the ground, flowing down along Department of Water and Light. knowledge of a brine disposal authored that contains informa-
underground rock layers and mixing with the groundwater beneath wells
vacation time, which stood at 42 5 and 6, according to a 2002 U.S. Geological Studies report. With few exceptions, since 2000, site near the well field, Everett tion on organics levels in the
weeks as of 2005. The total sev- wells 5 and 6 have had at least said. wells will be published later this
erance package was estimated Source: COLUMBIA WATER AND LIGHT DEPARTMENT two times the chloride levels The University of Missouri year. She would not comment on
by board member Dometrorch TABAN SALEM/Missourian
found in the city’s other wells, Water Resource Center is con- the findings before the study is
to total around $400,000. with well 5 hitting a high of ducting research for the city released.

Levels: Changes to water CHEMICAL REACTIONS


However, Paulsell’s contract
has not been recognized by the
board since December 2007.
“The contract is not enforced Trihalomethanes form when water containing organic matter is
at this time. A, it was unen- treated with chlorine. Although their effects are not fully known,
forceable and B, it has expired,”
board Chairman John Gordon
said.
Gordon said the three-person
board hired a St. Louis attorney
system might slow formation
CONTINUED from page 1A liters of water at the EPA’s adults, and levels as low as 40
trihalomethanes are harmful. High levels of chloride in wells 5 and
6 could be a sign of high levels of organic matter contributing to
trihalomethanes in Columbia’s drinking water.

CHLORIDE LEVELS IN GROUNDWATER WELLS 5 AND 6


to review the contract. “He felt, In 2001, trihalomethanes maximum contaminant level parts per billion can be linked Measured in parts per million
as other attorneys have said, it is averaged 80.8 parts per billion, for trihalomethanes for 70 with neural tube defects, small 100
unenforceable,” Gordon said. double 2000’s level of 39.43. At years could result in three to head circumference and small
“The contract was never voted that time, the EPA threshold four cancers per 10,000 peo- body length in newborns.
on by the board and was signed was 100 parts per billion; the ple. “These are inherently dan- 80
by the chairman (Willis Smith) standard was lowered to 80 Trihalomethanes have been gerous chemicals,” Naidenko
at the time,” Gordon said Mon- parts per billion in 2004. linked to other health effects, said. 60
day. “It was not fair to the tax- In November, Columbia vot- especially for sensitive popula- Decreasing your ingestion
payers of Boone County.” ers may be asked to consider a tions. of trihalomethanes is easy. 40
Board meeting minutes from $38.9 million bond issue, half “Even when a contaminant Former Columbia Water Plant
2005 indicate no discussion or of which would fund changes is at the EPA level, we have Superintendent John Betz rec- 20
vote were held to allow Presi- to the city’s to worry about ommends leaving drinking
dent Smith to sign the March water system more sensi- water in an open pitcher for
0
24 contract. Gordon said that’s
one legitimate reason for invali-
that would
increase water
“These are inherently tive popula- three to four hours. Because 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
tions such as certain trihalomethanes are
dating the contract but added: flow through- dangerous chemicals.” children, dia- volatile, they will leave the
TRIHALOMETHANE LEVELS IN COLUMBIA’S WATER
“There are other reasons.” out the sys- betics and the water. Naidenko suggests that
Smith’s and Paulsell’s are the tem and pos-
Olga Naidenko elderly,” said houseplants will benefit from
Measured in parts per billion
Senior scientist at the Environmental 100
only signatures on the 1994 and sibly slow the Working Group Olga Naid- the same courtesy.
2005 contracts. District legal formation of enko, senior Although bottled water may
counsel Jeff Parshall’s signature trihalometh- scientist at the seem like an appealing solution, 2004 EPA standard
line remains blank. anes. Closing loops in the water Environmental Working Group its purity is less regulated than 80
The special open meeting will system would decrease triha- in Washington, D.C., a non- that of Columbia’s tap water.
be Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the lomethane formation by mak- profit group that advocates for Carbon filtration systems are
fire district headquarters at ing water flow continuously reform and disseminates infor- another way to decrease tri- 60
2201 I-70 Drive NW. instead of sitting in the parts mation on public health and the halomethane levels in drinking
Gordon said Tuesday that he of the system, Water and Light environment. water, Naidenko said.
is attempting to set up a closed spokeswoman Connie Kacpro- Epidemiological studies Meanwhile, the city awaits 40
meeting before the scheduled wicz said. published in “The American the university’s test results,
open meeting, if the board mem- The city’s notice to its water Journal of Epidemiology” and which Kirchhoff says will offer
bers’ schedule’s allow. The pur- customers in May stated “Epidemiology” found that a clearer view of where and 20
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
pose of the meeting would be that, according to the Mis- trihalomethane levels as low why trihalomethane levels con-
“to discuss a specific personnel souri Department of Natural as 50 parts per billion could tinue to rise dramatically in Source: CITY OF COLUMBIA WATER AND LIGHT DEPARTMENT
problem,” Gordon said. Resources, consuming two be linked to bladder cancer in Columbia’s drinking water.

Delegates: Some things lost in translation


TABAN SALEM/Missourian

CONTINUED from page 1A


Attending the game were about
“good” and “interesting.”
Liu Haipeng, vice director
He explained that it is difficult hands-on field trips and profes-
for the leaders of the government sional site visits,” Kim said. “In
INNER MONGOLIA
half of the 18 delegates from the of the personnel department to take off so much time in a the classroom, they learn a lot Inner Mongolia is the Mongol autonomous region of China, bordering
autonomous region of China. The of Inner Mongolia, didn’t need foreign country to explore things about American English and cul- to the north with Mongolia and Russia. A delegation of 18 Inner
Asian Affairs Center is hosting words to express his excitement. such as the economy, politics, cul- ture, and also there are a series of Mongolian officials are in a three-month program in Columbia learning
them in a three-month program He cheered and danced after a ture and daily life. global leadership, public adminis- American culture and government management.
to learn about the U.S. game-winning home run by the Sang Kim, director of the MU tration-type seminars throughout
For those who chose the base- Royals’ David DeJesus. Then Asian Affairs Center and the the program. Toward the end of
ball game over a trip to New York again, he danced when the oppos- Missouri International Training the program, to confirm what
City, it was a singular way to ing team’s Ichiro Suzuki got a hit. Institute, said the government they have learned in the class-
learn about the idiosyncrasies of With the help of a translator, of Inner Mongolia has chosen room, they go to different agen- MONGOLIA
the culture. Li Chunguang, deputy secretary Columbia as a training base in cies of Missouri.”
Some things were lost in trans- general of the Inner Mongolia 2005 and 2007, as well as this The government of Inner Mon- Inner Mongolia
lation, including the crowd doing Autonomous Region People’s summer. golia funds the trip to improve MAP AREA
Beijing
the wave and the concept of Government, said the group’s “Inner Mongolian Government the region. Those chosen to come
innings. But the consensus from experience in more than two had been sending its officials to to the training program at MU
the Inner Mongolians at the end months so far has been the East and West Coast areas of are usually promoted when they
of the game was that it was significant. the U.S. before return home, CHINA
they were being said Kim.
sent to Colum- “It was OK for them “They may not
bia, Missouri. see a whole lot
It was OK for to go to those urban, on the federal
them to go to
those urban,
international cities, but level, but these
are provincial
international they weren’t getting officials so
cities, but they what they see
weren’t getting a whole lot of true and learn here
Source: AP, MISSOURIAN

a whole lot of American experience.” apply to their SU JING/Missourian


true American work back in the public’s opinions. he hopes more Americans will
experience, Sang Kim Inner Mongolia Kim put into words an idea travel to China to both learn a
according to Director of the MU Asian Affairs Center autonomous that resounded with many in culture and share theirs, play-
and the Missouri International the group, that their presence ing a role in the glocalization
the feedback I Training Institute
region,” Kim
heard from the explained. in Columbia is evidence of process.
organizers,” Li Shaohua, “glocalization” — globalization Glocalization received a vocal-
Kim said. board chairman of Xizhuozi at a local level. ization when members of the
Not only does Columbia offer Mountain Grasslands Cement For example, the group’s group did as they always do when
a unique taste of the U.S., the Corp. in Inner Mongolia, said visit allows Americans to they end a party: They sang a tra-
program sponsored by the Asian through a translator that he learn about Inner Mongolia ditional song after a casual din-
JIM BUELL/Missourian
Affairs Center offers diverse was impressed with the way without having to travel to ner at the Memorial Union.
From left to right, Liu Haipeng, Feng Ye, Xiong Yidi and Li educational opportunities for the the local government makes China. As Kim joked to the group, it’s
Hongling watch a Royals game at Kauffman Stadium in group of officials. money work, using a little to Many members of the group not over until the fat lady sings in
Kansas City. They traveled from Inner Mongolia to learn about “The program is a combina- do a lot. He also appreciated said they see the benefits of America, but it’s really not over
government in Columbia and to gain cultural experiences. tion of classroom learning and its willingness to listen to the this process. Chunguang said until the Inner Mongolian sings.