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Officials to float ideas on water

Springville leaders looking to add, improve resources

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SPRINGVILLE — Springville city leaders will gather Friday at Hobble Creek Golf Course, but a relaxing round of golf will not be on the agenda.

Instead, they will huddle up at the nineteenth hole — the golf course clubhouse — for a daylong discussion of city water concerns.

"This will be more of an idea day," City Councilman Craig Conover said. "We're not going to set any policy."

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., and leaders hope to conclude discussions by 5 p.m.

The intensive discussion session follows a long, dry summer that has seen reduced water flow at city-owned springs that are the city's namesake. The springs, coupled with the city's five wells, are currently the sole source of drinking and irrigation water in the city.

Mandatory watering restrictions combined with a few technical snags have tried residents' patience this summer.

"We don't really want to restrict people (from watering)," Conover said.

He said that is why city leaders are meeting to brainstorm ways to make better use of the city's existing water sources and look for ways to add or improve additional resources.

Residents have been restricted to watering their yards and gardens on alternating days through the week, according to their address. Watering is not allowed on Sunday so that city water tanks can be refilled. Those restrictions will remain in force through the end of September.

Part of Friday's discussion will focus on ways to match water needs to the closest water resource, Conover said. That could mean, for example, using a spring-fed pond at Spring Acres Park to provide water for the sprinkling system at nearby Springville High, Conover said.

The meeting will also look at possible benefits from matching watering patterns with soil types. An example there is using shorter but more frequent waterings for lawns with a clay soil base, Conover said.

In addition to the springs, city leaders will try to determine if they can make better use of Hobble Creek. That water is currently used to green the acres that surround the clubhouse where city leaders and staff will be meeting.

"There's not a lot to pump out of there now," Conover said.

Other topics expected to get attention include:

Expanding the city's tiny secondary watering system to eventually wean residents off culinary water now used for watering yards.

Requiring installation of piping in new housing developments that could eventually be connected to a pressurized irrigation system.

Adding irrigation uses for recycled water from the sewer treatment plant. Some of that water is currently being used in industrial areas.

City Manager Layne Long said there are other resources available, including secondary water from Springville Irrigation Co. Long said the city's pressurized irrigation system will grow as the city can afford it and as water sources are developed.

Springville currently has rights to Strawberry Reservoir water, but no way to bring it to the city. That problem could be solved as the Central Utah Water Project installs pipelines to move Strawberry water north from Diamond Fork Canyon near Spanish Fork to Salt Lake City. Springville would likely be able to tap into that pipeline. The Diamond Fork Canyon project that will bring Strawberry Reservoir water to south Utah County is set for completion next year.

Among the technical snags plaguing the city this year were an electrical storm in mid-August that knocked out one of the city's pumps and a faulty pump that forced some large water users to skip a day of watering.

"With the drought, the springs didn't meet culinary demands," said Long. "That's why we're expediting drilling new wells. We don't have enough (wells)."

Two new wells that pump several million gallons a day came on line this summer, and city leaders this week approved a contract to drill another well.

One of the new wells is at the city's Evergreen Cemetery, while the other one, a refurbished well that had been capped, is located at 1000 South. The city deepened that well to eliminate iron residue, and it is now producing clear culinary water, Long said.

Webber Drilling received a $481,000 contract on Tuesday to drill a 600-foot well at Canyon Road and 1700 East near the mouth of Hobble Creek Canyon.

Most of the city's wells are 400 feet to 600 feet deep and have been able to handle the drought well, Long said. Many shallower wells operated by area farmers dried up during the drought, he added.

"We're hoping (the new well) will produce 3,000 to 4,000 gallons a minute," Long said, "or 4 million to 6 million gallons a day."

E-mail: rodger@desnews.com