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PRWID Discusses Status Of Livestock Watering Program

Sun Advocate reporter

The board of the Price River Water Improvement District met at regular public meeting Tuesday.

The first item of business at the Oct. 4 gathering was a request for variance of a commercial sewer connection.

Business owner George Harmond approached the board with a request to wave a sampling manhole required for commercial businesses.

Harmond said that a sampling manhole is expensive, and in his opinion, unnecessary for the type of business to be conducted at his Carbonville facility.

Even though the building was formerly used as a commercial business, Harmond explained that it is being renovated to be only an office and there should be no need for a commercial sampling point.

The building has been on a septic tank and drain field system for many years and is currently being connected to the municipal sewer system as a part of the renovation.

A discussion between Harmond and members of the board followed. It was finally decided that PRWID staff should review the ordinance and consult with the district's attorney before granting a variance. The item was shelved for future action.

In other business, the board adopted a revised water conservation plan.

The state requires the plan to be updated every five years. The plan was updated in March 2005. The current revisions are mostly adjustments to wording without any real changes to the substance of the plan as adopted in March.

The board approved the changes and adopted the plan as presented by assistant water improvement district manager Jeff Richens.

The next item of business was the Carbon Canal winter water project.

The Carbon Canal Company has received a grant from the United States Bureau of Reclamation to provide culinary hookups to livestock owners who water animals during the winter months.

Only the livestock producers who own high water or normal runoff shares of Price River water are eligible to participate in the project.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation provided funding through an ongoing salinity reduction program.

The purpose of the program is to reduce the accumulation of salts in the Colorado River drainage.

Another benefit of the program is water conservation. It is expected that a significant amount of water will be saved since piping will prevent seepage and evaporation from ditches and livestock ponds.

The program will draw a maximum of 135 acre-feet from the Price River between Oct. 1 and March 31 each year to water an estimated 9700 cattle or equivalent livestock.

The water will be delivered through the normal processes of the district's culinary water system. The water will be regulated by Price River commissioner Robert Davis at the expense of the Carbon Canal Company.

PRWID is required to keep a separate diversion record of the water right.

PRWID manager Phil Palmer told people assembled at the meeting that the project is being extended into the northernmost part of Emery County. He explained that a deal is being made with north Emery water users.

North Emery will de-annex a part of its culinary water system and Carbon County will annex the same customers.

"We are an independent service district. We are not tied to one county, explained Palmer when asked how the system could cross county boundaries,

After Carbon Canal Company completes the project, management of the system will be turned over to PRWID.

Palmer said nearly all of the construction, paperwork and legalities have been completed and the system could be delivering water "in the next couple of weeks."

Another matter of business was the Hill subdivision near Pinnacle Peak. For four years developer Richard Lee and the district have been working on issues of low water pressure at the new subdivision. By prior agreement, a pump has been installed on the water line at the expense of the developer and is being deeded to the water district.

Palmer said that the pump is in place, all funds have been paid and all easements signed. Palmer presented a letter to the board from PRWID attorney Nick Sampinos who has reviewed the terms of the agreement and recommended that the board accept the project as completed.

Board members did accept the project, and Palmer said the pump could be in service as early as the end of the week. The pump will serve sixteen residential water connections on top of the "Hill," and will provide a much-needed boost to fire protection in the subdivision.

In a Manager's Report, Palmer talked about the Plateau Mining Property the district has purchased north of Helper. 120 acres of land have been acquired to use for settling ponds should the irrigation companies in the price river valley choose to enclose (pipe) irrigating water in the future. Palmer said that Plateau is petitioning for the release of bonds paid to the US Department of Oil, Gas, and Mining now that ownership of the property is being transferred. Palmer said that once the phase 3 bonds have been released, the district can take possession of the buildings and sell some fuel tanks on the property.

In another matter, Palmer said that he has been in contact with the Utah Division of Drinking Water about problems with sinking trenches in the Carbonville area. Palmer said that he has asked for an additional 20,000 dollars in grants to "skid patch" (backfill) the trenches. He explained that 15,000 dollars of the money would be paid to the contractor who would then assume any cost over the 15,000 dollars. The deal has been made but is still contingent upon a formal, signed agreement. Nielson Construction is the subcontractor who will do the actual work. They expect to have the job completed by October 25.

Board members then spent a short time discussing a need for the district to review all of their municipal water agreements. The meeting was then adjourned.

The next meeting is scheduled Oct. 18.

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