PRWID Board Delays Decision on South Price Water Company
Residents in the Pinnacle subdivision won't know for awhile if the Price River Water Improvement District will become their primary service provider after a decision made at the board's March 4 meeting.
"We are going to have to wait until the weather gets warmer to do a fire flow test on the system," PRWID District Manager Phil Palmer said. "We can't open the hydrants and take a chance that they might freeze up."
The decision to bring back a proposal to assume the 30-year-old Pinnacle/John Paul Water Company was reached at the board meeting after several members had concerns and questions about the viability of the infrastructure.
The system, which serves 25 homes in South Price located between 500 West and 1710 West 1625 South, consists of pipes that are relatively smaller than those required for new developments. Today's standards mandate 8 inch pipes, according to Palmer.
A large portion of the homes in Pinnacle are served by 6 inch pipes and a smaller portion of the delivery system has 4 inch piping. The size of the pipes set off a number of red flags for board members who questioned whether they would have to be replaced if the district were to absorb the company.
"The standards have changed," Boardmember Karl Houskeeper said. "If there have to be upgrades would we have to buy off on all those costs?"
Palmer, who is particularly familiar with the system, as his home is hooked up to it and he is a member of the water company's board, assured the board that there shouldn't be any issues with the infrastructure.
"We have always had six inch line from 500 West to Petitti Lane," Palmer said. "Those lines were put in under the 1978 standards."
He discussed the board's concerns a bit more on the phone Friday and added, "The system is good, it works just fine."
According to Palmer in its 30-year existence the system hasn't had any major problems and has provided adequate pressure.
The issue of water pressure was a concern as board members reviewed the scope of the system and the number of houses it was serving. In addition to the existing 25 homes, Pinnacle/John Paul is also committed to nine more possible residences.
"We are talking about nine additional hook ups and do we assume they go with this agreement?" Houskeeper asked.
PRWID attorney Nick Sampinos confirmed that the nine are part of the overall agreement.
"However under the agreement there can't be any additional connections," he said.
There was however, one resident who apparently has experienced pressure problems. Rick Shiner, whose home is on the very end of the line acknowledged there had been times when his pressure was low.
Board members asked PRWID Maintenance Supervisor Clay Wright about the nature of the problem who said there had been problems in the past getting water up to Shiner's.
"Is there a pressure problem?" Boardmember Keith Cox asked. "Was it that the system's pipes were undersized?"Wright said that for the last several years water delivery to the area was problem and that it had to do with lack of water.
While the item on the March 4 agenda was specifically Pinnacle/John Paul, the discussion broadened to encompass overall policy towards assuming water companies.
Since it went into the water business in 1971, PRWID has absorbed a number of Carbon County water companies. The type of upgrades to the systems varied depending on the condition of the infrastructures, according to Palmer.
"The more major systems like East Wellington needed a complete overhaul," he said.
However, he says that district isn't likely to run into anything like that with Pinnacle/John Paul. The only major change the residents are looking for is the meters.
"We have requested a change to radio read meters," he said.
Despite Palmer's assertion that there wouldn't have to be much done to the system so PRWID can take it over, the board members still had concerns and questions.
"What's the advantage for PRWID to do this?" Boardmember Richard Tatton asked.
Palmer offered that the benefit was mostly on the other side.
"It would be a better benefit for the people," he said. "They don't want to be in the water business anymore."
As the discussion wound down it appeared that the Pinnacle residents would be in the water business for a bit longer as the issues were sorted out. A motion was made to reconsider the proposal after the additional data was gathered, which would push any decision back to sometime in the middle of April or as far back as the beginning of May.