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Front Page » January 21, 2010 » Carbon County News » PRWID reviews Price River sewer leak fine, goals
Published 1,649 days ago

PRWID reviews Price River sewer leak fine, goals


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By COLLIN MCRANN
Sun Advocate reporter

With the swearing in of Ben Blackburn (Wellington) and Gary Hartwood (Helper) the Price River Water Improvement District (PRWID) began reviewing its upcoming issues and goals on Jan 19.

In an effort to resolve a $21,857 fine involving a sewer line leak which happened on South Carbon avenue last summer, PRWID will be sending a letter to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). In the letter the district hopes it can get the severity of the situation downgraded from serious to minor as well as get the fine reduced or eliminated.

"We want the situation downgraded so it looks good on our record," said district director Jeff Richens during the meeting who added that the line was dripping when he saw it last summer.

According to Kim Shelley the environmental engineer at the DEQ, the pipe was installed in 1982 and was never inspected, and although she indicated that it is unknown as to the quantities of leakage, she said any amount is a concern especially since the leak was ongoing for possibly 10 or more years.

As part of the PRWID letter the district is asking the DEQ to lower the fine, but also to allow the district to put the remainder of it into the purchase of a closed circuit television inspection device to monitor such pipes before they become a problem.

"Hopefully this (letter) will get us into some negotiations," said Richens.

PRWID will also be giving $11,385 back to the Community Impact Board (CIB), which the district received to the repair the pipe. The money will be returned becuase the total repair cost came in under the $105,000 which was budgeted. Although the leak was unfortunate Shelley indicated that while these types of incidents don't happen often, they do occur throughout the state. She said however she thought the one in Carbon County was more preventible than most.

Twenty two goals were also outlined during the meeting and were listed in the district's documents. While the goals for 2010 were listed the budgeted amounts to achieve them were not. Richens assured the board, however, that they are budgeted for.

Out of all the goals some of the more ambitious ones include a web based interface for the district's facilities because, according to Richens, the current phone line communications are not very reliable.

"One of the phone lines to the fresh water plant doesn't work that well all the time and the plan is to install antennas with line of sight," said Richens. "We're on a bluff and so are the tanks."

A few other goals involving the water plant include a new online turbidity meter and to replace the programming logic cards (PLC) cards. These and most of the other projects were mainly centered around maintenance for the district's existing infrastructure and a few upgrades, but a few new projects were listed as well. One included bringing the district's Web site online which will provide online bill paying, applications and other information. Richens informed the board that about 70 percent of the site was currently complete.

In terms of more long term goals the district will be looking into future Community Impact Board (CIB) funding for various projects, some extensions and evaluations.

However as the weather has turned cold PRWID has been facing an issue with freezing pipes especially at the airport where a pump house had several fittings freeze, causing around $8,000 in damages. The district intends to pursue liability claims with its insurance. Crews have also been responding to meters being frozen. In some cases the lines were frozen right up to the main line.

Other current expenditures included $2,300 for a couple of pieces of equipment at the district's waste water treatment plant. Richens informed the board that in the case of these units it was cheaper to replace them than repair them. Another $2,600 was spent on sulfur dioxide injector which deals with chlorine. One replacement that took place late last year was an upgrade to the district's lighting which came as an incentive through Rocky Mountain Power (RMP). The upgrade, which is currently being carried out by installing high efficiency lighting, has so far saved PRWID around $75 in electrical costs at its administrative building. Once all the district's facilities are equipped, RMP will pay for around half of the $3,500 cost according to Richens.

Finially it was made known that Scofield Reservoir is at around 71 percent capacity or 25,000 acre feet of water.

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January 21, 2010
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