The Longview City Council is directing city staff to move ahead with several measures intended to help improve water system delivery, as well as starting to compensate citizens for some of the damage that they’ve suffered. Mint Farm Water Treatment Plant project manager Amy Blain says that the system is steadily improving…waterupdate…The City Council is also moving ahead with several recommendations in regard to the situation. Residents of the worst-affected area of town will now be able to apply for a 50-percent water rate reduction, retroactive to February 1st, when the complaints first started coming in. Businesses will also be able to apply for a rate reduction, based on consumption. The Council also declared an emergency, moving replacement of the Baltimore water main to the front of the list, also allowing the city to bypass regular bidding procedures to get that project started immediately. The cost of that project is put at about $1.9 million, and is expected to take about three months to complete. The city is also continuing some testing programs, expanding contracts with Confluence Engineering and Kennedy and Jenks for testing and design of phosphate injection equipment; introduction of those chemicals could help to prevent iron, manganese and other minerals from dropping out of the water, reducing the scale problem, along with staining, color and odor. Another update is planned in a couple of weeks.