The Fort Atkinson City Council approved spending $48,550 to have an outside consultant do a survey of the city’s water system and update the master plan.

It’s recommended that municipalities have their water system master plan updated every 10 years, according to Water Utility Supervisor Tim Hayden. The last time Fort Atkinson had its plan updated was 13 years ago in 2007.

The update will look at four categories, Hayden said. Which water mains are in the most urgent need of replacement, the system’s pressure and capacity to determine how the utility will handle the city’s growth while maintaining the supply, energy efficiency and well capacity.

The survey will be conducted by Madison-based civil engineering firm Baxter Woodman.

Baxter Woodman is the firm that developed the city’s water system master plan the last two times it was done in 2007 and 1998, according to Hayden.

“They are cost-effective and thorough,” Hayden said. “And their knowledge of our water system is extensive, which is what I based the decision on.”

The council decided to not approve the spending of an additional $9,900 test of the water system’s flushing system that the engineering firm offered as an optional service.

The test involves building a computer model of the water system to find the most efficient and effective way to flush the water mains, Hayden said.

While Hayden said the current system of flushing out grime from the mains works fine, it was developed using trial and error and the water utility’s employee knowledge of the mains.

Hayden said that while it wasn’t necessary to do the test, it would help them be more efficient when conducting the flush of the system in the spring.

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