There was a lot of chemistry and engineering discussed at last night’s Longview City Council workshop on water quality; the bottom line appears to be that a fix for the problems that people are having will not be immediate, and a lasting solution may not be cheap. The workshop started off with reports from Mint Farm project manager Amy Blain and Melinda Friedman with the Confluence Engineering Group out of Seattle; Friedman says their testing shows that the system is starting to stabilize, but problems are persisting…waterreport…In a “dumbed-down” technical report on the city’s water system, Blain and Friedman explained how the problem isn’t in the water coming out of the ground, it’s in the distribution system throughout the city. The reversal of flow and a change in water chemistry is causing decades of scale that has built up to go back into the water that’s delivered into homes. They say that a loss of chlorine as it goes through the system is a major problem, as the chlorine not only helps to prevent microbial contamination, it helps to prevent the iron and manganese from leaching back into the system. Friedman says that keeping chlorine levels up will go a long way to fixing the problems. A number of citizens affected by water quality issues remain unconvinced, presenting horror stories about skin and stomach problems that they’re having, along with damage to appliances. The City Council is directing staff to continue its efforts, with plans to take action on possible remedies in the near future. You can get updates on the City of Longview website.