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PRWID board denies variance for hookup

The Price River Water Improvement District was sympathetic but firm in holding to its policies to require regulation pipe size and metering for a small development proposed by Kent Shorts of Wellington.

Shorts had asked for a variance on the PRWID connection policy that requires 8-inch diameter water pipe and individual meters for developments that request to tap into its main water lines. That would be expensive for Shorts, who estimated that it would cost $10,000 to comply. He stated that he when he built his house, it was according to code and the rules of the old East Wellington Water Company.

Those early provisions required only a 2-inch line. Now that he wants to develop another lot, possibly two, adjacent to his home, the rules have changed. PRWID has taken over the older water company and state codes have changed.

He had proposed linking the new home to the existing line on his side of the water meter, having water for two homes flowing through the single meter.

Board members Keith Cox, Steve Rigby and Gary Harwood said they foresaw lots of problems down the road with that plan. Their major objection was that granting a variance to the policy in one case would open the door for others in the future. This would pose major problems for the district, which has been integrating the small water companies it has acquired over the years into its system.

The vote to deny the variance was not unanimous. Ben Blackburn voted against the denial, noting that Shorts had built his home in compliance with existing standards, which at the time would have allowed additional homes to be supplied by the two-inch pipe.

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