The Longview City Council is moving ahead with a $29,000 consultant contract, which will take a close look at the city’s water quality and the quality of its distribution system. This came up after more than 200 complaints about hard water, discoloration and staining after the switch to the Mint Farm Water Treatment Plant. However, Project Manager Amy Blain says it appears that the problem is in the city’s pipes, not the water itself…waterquality…Blain says that their testing, from the plant opening to the present day, shows that levels of iron and other metals are far below their targets. She also says that the analysis shows that problems with water hardness and discoloration are being caused by chemicals that are leaching from decades of scale that’s built up inside the city’s water distribution pipes. Public Works Director Jeff Cameron says that some of these problems were anticipated when the flow of water in that system was reversed as the new water plant came on line. There have been significant issues in the Baltimore Street area, between Oregon Way, Nichols Boulevard and 22nd Avenue. Mains in that area are now being flushed weekly in an attempt to reduce the problems. The city will now contract with Confluence Engineering to analyze the extent of the problem and possible solutions. The initial contract will be paid out of the Regional Water Supply Project budget. A timeline on a report hasn’t been disclosed, but city officials are planning for quick action on this issue.