Hydrology study tops list of items at PRWID
The Price River Water Improvement District met Tuesday night. The main focus of the meeting was sewer priority lists and hydrology studies.
At a previous meeting, a resident along Highway 6 at the Consumers Wash Road had requested an extension of district sewer lines to service the homes on the west side of the highway. The water district took the proposal under advisement and did a preliminary study. The engineering firm of Creamer and Noble was invited to give an estimate of the costs of engineering and construction of the proposed project.
District Manager Phil Palmer told the board that the project would necessitate crossing the Price River and Highway 6 with the sewer line, and it is his opinion that if such a project is attempted, it should include all of the west side of Highway 6 between Consumers Wash and Helper City.
Palmer said that Creamer and Noble gave an engineering estimate for drawing up the plans at just under $23,000, while construction estimates ran about $230,000 plus a 10 percent contingency fund. Palmer said the full estimated cost of the project is about $304,000.
The board discussed the plans in some detail, and then passed a resolution to notify Richard Lee, the petitioning landowner, that the project will be placed on the priority list for the water district. No timetable was set for beginning the project.
The board then discussed the whole sewer priority list, and talked of other areas in the county needing sewer updates or inclusion in the system. Palmer said that public health issues are always a priority, and any area with public health issues resulting from sewer problems automatically goes to the top of the priority list.
Palmer then asked the board to back a hydrology study of the whole PRWID system. He said the district needs a comprehensive hydrology analysis to include both the sewer and water distribution systems. Since the 1970s, he said, the district has incorporated several small water companies and made many modifications to the original PRWID plans and systems. He said that no comprehensive hydrology study has ever been done that gives a complete overview of the entire system as it is constituted today.
Palmer said the district would like to do an analysis of the whole system, from the water treatment plant in Price Canyon to the wastewater plant in Wellington. "We need this study to know what we can do and what we can't do with future development," he told board members. "We need to know how each new development will impact the entire system."
Palmer said that the study proposal is not in response to any problems the district is having today, but will be done to identify any future problems or shortcomings with the system. He explained that the district has the potential to run into problems somewhere in the future if they don't get the whole operation into one comprehensive, hydrology plan.
Palmer told the board that an important part of the study is having a map of the entire service area that shows contour lines to within one-foot of elevation. He said that PRWID approached Carbon County one year ago about making a request from the Community Impact Board for a $300,000 grant for a mapping project. He suggested that the grant proposal be re-introduced this year and the money used to make detailed aerial photography maps. He said the state of Utah is currently mapping the wasatch front with aerial photography, and the district might be able to use the same aerial photography company and some state resources to accomplish the project.
Board members Tom Matthews and Richard Tatton suggested that Carbon County and the cities in the county be invited to participate in the project. They pointed out that other water systems in the county could benefit from such a complete contour map, and the prospects for CIB funding would be better if the project were a county project and not just a water district study.
The board discussed the project for a time, and then passed a resolution to invite all municipalities and Carbon County to join in the mapping project.
Palmer then presented to the board a proposal from UB Engineering to do a study of the district's energy utility costs. He said the engineering firm offers to do the study for free if the district agrees to pay the engineering firm fifty-percent of any savings for a 3-year period. Palmer said that in his opinion, it is a good proposal and the district would be under no obligation to implement anything suggested. He explained that the board would be able to review the completed study and decide to implement any recommendations or not. After a short discussion, the board voted to authorize the study.
In a mangers report, Palmer told board members about recent meetings with Bureau of Reclamation and water board officials concerning the Scofield dam project. He gave a brief overview of the project timetable, and the board discussed the project at length. Engineering studies are still being completed and bids will be invited by the end of the summer. Construction could begin by this fall or early next year and the project might not be completed until late fall or winter of 2009. The reservoir will be held to at least 5-feet below the spillway through the duration of the project. Maximum water storage in the reservoir will be about 52,000 acre-feet.
In a final matter, PRWID assistant manager, Jeff Richens, said that the district has leased almost 300 Scofield water shares for the coming summer, but still has 200 shares available for public lease. Anyone wishing to lease water shares for the coming season should contact the district.