|Greg Poole, the engineer on Price's water project, points to the types of pipes that will be used on the new 20-inch line that will carry water from the city's treatment plant to the 10 million gallon storage reservoir on Wood Hill. Once completed, the project will replace two older lines that are deteriorating and costing Price city water as well as money.|
Water is on the minds of all Carbon County residents. Most people are concerned about the prospects of not having enough for the summer. But Price city fathers are concerned about having enough water for the next 100 years.
Last Friday afternoon, officials took a big step toward alleviating some of the concerns by beginning one of the biggest public construction projects the county has seen in years - a new water delivery pipeline from the city's water treatment plant to Price.
The ground breaking took place at about 1 p.m. with officials from Condie Construction, the main contractor on the project, city officials and other dignitaries present.
The $5.5 million project will cover 12 miles from the treatment plant to the 10 million gallon tank on Wood Hill.
The project will take about a year to a year and a half to complete. The city's existing pipeline has been plagued by breaks and continual loss of water, often resulting in service interruptions.
The story of water systems in the county is a long, complicated matter.
And Price city's water system story is unique.
According to utilities supervisor Sam White, when the city was formed the town diverted water directly from the Price River to use for culinary purposes. But pollution of that supply by the coal industry and the railroad caused the city fathers many concerns about the quality of the drinking water.
Around that time, a visit by city officials to Colton Springs prompted the dream of citizens to bring water directly from the source to Price via a pipeline system.
In the early 1920s, the system completed. The 24-mile long line was constructed of wood pipe.
Since then, the pipeline and the one from the treatment plant have been replaced with a combination of tile, cast iron, steel and ductile.
The new line will be a combination of materials ranging from steel to some plastic pipe.
Up until the 1950s, Price's water supply came from the springs. But growth in the area made it impossible for the source to supply all that was needed.
In 1961, the present treatment plant was completed, giving Price a way to process river water in addition to handling the Colton Springs. This gave the Price system the capacity to handle the amount of water needed for the growth.
The present pipelines are between 40 and 60 years old and, according to officials, have outlived expected usefulness.
The new project was originally planned as a single 30-inch line with a cost of about $15 million. Working with project engineers, Price was able to cut costs by using a 20-inch line to supply the city's present and projected future needs.
"We project the lifetime of this pipeline to be a 100 years," said Greg Poole, the engineer on the project.
In a second matter concerning water in the Carbon area, a county development committee meeting is slated May 23 in the commission chambers.
The agenda includes discussions on the piping efforts concerning the Carbon and Price-Wellington canal along with conducting a feasibility study on the construction of a dam and reservoir in the vicinity of Consumers Wash.
The committee consists of members from various entities dealing with water and soil as well as representatives from county agencies and cities.
Open to the public, the meeting is slated to start at 7 p.m.