Residents invited to city water meeting

By Sarah Pridgeon

Larry Schommer, Public Works Director, invites members of the community to attend a meeting on Thursday, July 19 to kick off a study of the city’s water system. Any resident who has experienced problems with water pressure or flow is encouraged to attend.

The Level 1 Master Plan study is fully funded by Wyoming Water Development and will look at the water system as a whole, says Schommer, including transmission and delivery of water from wells to taps. The condition of the wells, tanks and transmission and distribution lines will also be investigated.

The intention of the study is to figure out the capacity and pumping rates of the system and develop a hydrological overview, he continues. This will improve understanding of the system as a whole, allowing the city to enhance it and to fix problems and bottlenecks.

It will also allow the city to prepare for population growth by creating projections of water demand. For example, if the rare earth mine goes in, Schommer explains, these projections can be used to predict what large developments would do to demand.

The study will create a map that can then be used by software called Water Gems to show where the water flows to once it reaches town and how the tanks fill and empty throughout the day. It will evaluate the system’s operations and everyday maintenance and determine the quality of the wells and the water itself once it has passed through the system, while also picking out hotspots, helping to narrow down the potential locations of leaks in the pipes.

When the study is complete, the city will be given a list of prioritized recommendations for further projects. The work will be performed by TriHydro, who won the bid, and is expected to take a year, with an estimated completion date of August 2013.

The purpose of the meeting is to gather feedback from residents who have experienced problems with the water system. “It’s to help us be more aware of the issues we’re having,” says Schommer. “We know about the majority, but there might be some out there we don’t know about, and this will give us a more accurate starting point for the study.”

The meeting will take place on Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at City Hall.