Water Board changes policies

The Osceola Water Board discussed policy changes at the Thursday July 1 meeting.

Cash only policy change

In the past if a customer had two returned checks within 12 month they would be put on cash only payments accepted indefinitely. Those on cash only payments are also allowed to use card payments as that is an immediate form of payment. The board discussed the policy change after a customer requested to be taken off the cash only list.

“The way I would like to handle it is if they have three good months of payment, then they come and submit a letter saying that they have their issue straightened out and they would like to go back on regular payment,” said board member Larry Bishop.

“With a caveat, though, if it happens again then they go right back. Infinity,” said board member Sara O’Hair.

“I’m all for it. If you make a mistake then you can learn from it,” said board chair Alisha Kale.

The board voted to change the policy in order for customers to have the option of requesting to go back to check payment after three months of being on cash only one time.


Osceola Water Works is working on creating an inventory of what the water line material is for each property in town. Based on the year lines were installed they will be able to better identify which residents have lead, galvanized, or copper lines.

“People are always talking about infrustructure that is failing and then we raise pur water rates and this is why. This is what we’re dealing with,” said Kale.

As leaks happen and more unsuitable lines are discovered residents will be responsible for replacing their lines with updated material.

“The EPA is going to attack the galvaized lines as well, especially if there are lead lines up stream becasue supposedly the lead can get into the galvanized lines as well,” said Osceola Water Works Director Brandon Patterson.

If residents come across galvanized or lead lines that have lead fittings or other componants to it then it will have to be replaced with a line of proper size and material. It will be unlawful to leave any lead componant in service while repairing or replacing the line.

“It’s acutally worse if you just repair a section of the lead just because it breaks and those particles go into it,” said Patterson.

Some are only lead at the curved gooseneck portion near the stop box and when that is the case only that small section would need replaced.

Osceola Water Works would have the ability to discontinue service for residents who do not replace lead or galvanized lines.

“This helps give the staff a policy to follow to help protect the water system to make sure that as these leaks are uncovered that we can get them taken care of,” said Patterson. “This isn’t saying that everybody has to go out and replace their lines. It’s just saying that if there’s a leak and while they’re exposed if they are led or galvanized they’ll need to be changed.”

The board voted to approve the change of policy. When leaks are discovered in lead or galvanized lines it’s now the responisbility of the resident to replace those lines and Osceola Water Works can shut off water until the replacement is complete.

Tyra Audlehelm

Tyra Audlehelm

I grew up in Osceola and live here still with my husband and son. I graduated with my Bachelor degree in Journalism and Mass Communications in 2017. I have work at the OST since January of 2018.