Never before has Springville seen growth like it's experiencing this year along the city's east side. And with close to a dozen new subdivisions in the works and the city issuing building permits almost daily, the growth is expected to continue for a few years.
City officials welcome the growth, but they're having a hard time keeping pace with it. The area where the city is growing the fastest just happens to be the area where the city's water system is the most deficient.A water study completed last year says the city's water system does not have enough pressure, lacks adequate flow to the fire-protection system and suffers from a shortage during droughts. The study also recommends replacement of the Penstock waterline coming out of Hobble Creek Canyon, which is more than 50 years old and leaks more than 200,000 gallons of water each day.
"During a period of drought it is not acceptable to be losing that much culinary water," City Recorder Richard Manning said.
City officials say replacing the 16-inch Penstock line and building a new storage tank up Hobble Creek Canyon would eliminate many of the city's water problems. However, it would take 10 years for the city to save enough money to complete the project. Officials believe it would be better to bond and complete the project next year. They've scheduled a $2.7 million general obligation bond issue for Tuesday's primary election.
The Penstock line currently runs from the Lower Bartholomew hydroelectric plant under Hobble Creek Golf Course to the Hobble Creek hydroelectric plant and then to a storage tank at the mouth of the canyon.
If the bond passes, the city would install a new 2-milliongallon storage tank just below the Lower Bartholomew plant and a 100,000-gallon tank above the Spring Creek hydroelectric plant at about 2000 East and 400 south. A new 24-inch line would run from the Lower Bartholomew plant to the new 2-million-gallon tank and then along the canyon road to the new Spring Creek tank. The new line will save the city water and will increase water pressure by bringing water from the new tank.
"This project should meet the needs of the growth we're experiencing on the east side as well as provide other benefits," said Bert Oakey, water department director.
By running water from the new Spring Creek tank through the Spring Creek hydroelectric plant the city can take advantage of a power source that currently produces little electricity. Some of the water exiting the Spring Creek plant would then be routed to the industrial park to increase flow to the fire protection system there.
The proposed bond would be for 20 years, but officials plan to repay the bond in 15 years. Officials would assess a $4.75 fee to each water user's monthly bill rather then use property taxes to repay the bond.
"Those who benefit from the improvements will be the ones paying for them," Manning said.
Once the Penstock line is replaced, city officials could use other water revenues to complete other improvements to the water system. Officials want to replace lines in the southwest part of the city and along Main Street. Also, a proposal is in the works that would use water from the treatment plant for irrigation purposes in the industrial park, freeing up culinary water now used for irrigation.
"We're always looking at ways to improve our water situation," Manning aid.
Advantages of replacing Penstock waterline and building 2 million gallon storage tank:
- A savings of about 200,000 gallons of treated water each day.
- Increased water flow to fire protection system.
- Increased water pressure to homes in east part of city.
- Increased hydro-electricity generating capability.