Uranium levels in Grand Island's drinking water are slowly rising, and E.P.A. standards now impel the city to filter it out. The Grand Island city council has determined the cost to consumers.
Grand Island Utilities Director Tim Luchsinger: "Uranium in this area is a naturally occurring substance. I think you'll find that all cities in the Platte River valley are seeing these uranium levels. Why it's slowly coming up now, we're not sure."
What is sure is Grand Island's obligation to pay contractor Water Remediation Technologies for their filtering services.
Grand Island city council member Larry Carney: "We've entered into this ten year agreement, $800,000 a year, to remove uranium, or at least dilute it, and that we can't get out (of) -- we've got to come up with the $800,000."
Grand Island's city council decided to go with monthly fees based on customer water meter size, rather than consumption level.
Large scale and industrial clients will have to pay a higher uranium filtration surcharge.
Grand island's largest water user, the Swift meat-packing plant, will see a $4000 per month surcharge.
Even those who opposed the meter-based surcharge method, like Grand Island city council member Larry Carney, acknowledge the necessity to move forward on uranium filtration.
Larry Carney: "Actually the increase is very small. No matter which way you go, meter or not meter, it's a relatively small increase. I don't believe that it's going to have a huge impact one way or the other on the water users of Grand Island."