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Esto looks to sort out water service issues


The Town of Esto is looking to fix some problems with their water system and how it’s handled. 

“I’ve been told by representatives with our Florida Rural Water Association that some of the required testing has been late being submitted,” Town Clerk Ben Tew said to the Town Council during a meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 21. “We have some issues with our water operator. It’s tough to bring that up when it’s somebody in our community doing this for us but if we aren’t meeting these requirements, it could put us in a significant bind.”

Council Vice President Josh Davenport said the matter is an “extremely, extremely important issue for the safety of the town and making sure our residents are getting quality service.”

“I think some clear outlines for what exactly that job is, some clear descriptors of expectations, (are needed),” Davenport said. “I think the reason we ran into that last time is because we had a miscommunication between the public works staff and water operator on what days the well was getting checked.”

Each side did not know neither was checking the well on a given day, according to Davenport.

“I think having a solid set schedule of expected days where the well gets checked (is necessary),” he said. “Three days out of the week that are consistent for both parties. That has to come to a head.”

Turning the well on and making sure it’s on is crucial for well checks, Davenport said.

“There’s no other way to get around that,” he said. “There’s been plenty of times where a person will check a well and there’s something wrong with the hypochlorinator or whatever, all kinds of other issues. That’s the point of doing the well checks–turning them on and making sure that it happens every time.”

Whether a well has been turned on can be determined by looking at the manual log afterwards. 

“Tightening up on those two things will be the most important part of this because, if not, we’re still going to be all over the place,” Davenport said. “We’re never going to get a good well check unless it’s consistent. Turn it on. Wait. It’s going to take 15 minutes for it to turn on. You sit around. It’s boring but that’s just what it is.”

A description of expectations for water checks will be written and approved by the council at a future date. 

Chlorine also ran out and did not go into water pipes at the start of November.

“If that had been left to go for very long, the chlorine levels in our water system would have gone down and we would have needed to issue boil water notices,” Tew said.

The issue was caught and fixed in time.

In other Esto water news, Tew said the coming water service price increase starting in January is expected to bring in an additional $1,000 a month.

The Florida Department of Health in Holmes County reportedly wants to work with Esto on some health initiatives, including anti-smoking and tobacco efforts.

“They sent me a framework for an anti-smoking ordinance, if you want to consider that, at the park,” Tew said. “They would love to come to our January Town Council meeting and talk about that.”

The Health Department also wants to set up nine disc golf posts for John Clark Park. 

“It’s something that will be coming in the future,” Tew said.

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