EDINBURG – Town Council members on Tuesday agreed to hire Inboden Environmental Services Inc. to serve as the operator in charge of the town’s water and wastewater treatment plants beginning in May.

A flurry of water treatment issues has plagued Mayor Dan Harshman and other town officials over the past year.

Last year, the town failed an E. coli test, prompting a year-long testing program for E. coli and Cryptosporidium in the town’s water. Tests have been running smoothly, Harshman told council members, with all of the crypto tests coming back negative thus far.

Inboden, based in Mount Jackson, operates the town of Middleburg’s water treatment program as well as does the analysis for Mount Jackson and Front Royal.

Mark Inboden manages the company and has spent the past week touring the town’s treatment facilities — both water and wastewater plants — and talking with Harshman about how management will move forward.

The town and Inboden will enter into a one-year contract on July 1, but Inboden will take over managing the plants on May 1, operating as a month-to-month contractor for May and June, Harshman said.

Councilman Bill Boone asked why the town was only entering into a one-year contract with Inboden.

Harshman said part of the problem with the previous contract was the town was locked into a five-year deal. With a one-year contract, the town is not locked into a long-term commitment but will receive written notice of the contract’s expiration and have an option to renew.

Inboden told council members he grew up riding around to water treatment facilities with his dad and is excited to get started working with the town.

– Contact Max Thornberry at mthornberry@nvdaily.com