Information Flow | LDWA System Project Update
LDWA PROPOSED PROJECT UPDATE
In 2021 the Leeds Domestic Waterusers Association (LDWA) contracted with ProValue Engineering to conduct an updated Culinary Water Capacity Analysis of our system. The findings of this analysis reinforced needed improvements that have been identified in earlier reports from prior years.
Your LDWA Board has spent a great deal of time and energy to interview and hire an Engineering Firm best acquainted with small water system projects in the State of Utah. The Board feels that Jones and DeMille Engineering best fits that requirement and we have retained them to help us identify our current and future system needs.
Based on our system review we and Jones and DeMille have identified four major projects we need to address to keep our system viable both now and into the foreseeable future:
- Drill and equip a new well,
- Replace our aging 48-year-old pipeline down the West side of Main Street,
- Replace and upsize the approximately 4.5 miles of 68-year-old 4” water line from The Spring to our newer 8” water line just below the dugway on the Oak Grove Road, and
- Replace the aging water line on East side of Main Street,
- Install a required and compliant chlorination system equipped to meet Utah State Water Quality Standards. Our current method of Chlorination does not conform with required standards.
We have been discussing and receiving updates for the past few months on the necessity and feasibility of these projects and discussing them at our monthly Shareholder’s Board Meetings.
You may access the minutes of these meetings at our Website: www.ldwacorp.org
:: NECESSITY ::
Our current well is actually remarkable, not only for the quality of the water it produces but for its consistency of water production. However, as with any well they tend to degrade over time. A number of years ago our well suffered a catastrophic cave-in. The well was down for a number of months during which time we had to rely on The Spring and the good graces of the Leeds Irrigation Company (LWC) allowing us to use not only our water from The Spring, but theirs as well.
We understand that trying to salvage a well cave-in is extremely unusual, but LDWA pressed on and were able to do just that. The well was cased, and a new pump installed and a disaster was remedied. However, we are constantly at risk of a similar possibility, or a pump or motor failure, parts shortages, and well drillers months out on their schedules.
We recently had the pump quit working for a day until Mark was able to isolate the problem to a Power imbalance, get Rocky Mountain Power out, locate a power line fuse that had blown, replace it and get normal power restored. Thanks, as always to Mark.
Once again, we were able to rely on LWC to help supplement water to our system for that day. We continue to work with LWC to find the most equitable and cooperative pathway forward to meet each other’s needs.
A second well is absolutely necessary to create redundancy. If one well system were to go down, we could simply switch to the second system without great difficulty or delay giving us time to fix the problem that created this need. This is not just important for our drinking water supply, but for fire suppression needs as well.
Finally, our LDWA Culinary Water Capacity Analysis (Updated 8/17/ 2021) states: “LDWA is deficient in source when using the State of Utah Drinking Water guidelines. It is recommended that a new well location and well in the amount of 450 to 500 gallons per minute be secured, drilled, and developed.”
In addition to the second well we are planning to install a propane backup generator in case of a power outage both short or long term. A number of years ago Leeds experienced a two-week power disruption, something we hope is simply past history, but with fires and rolling blackouts in some areas of the State and Nation, we consider a backup system to be imperative.
WEST SIDE MAIN STREET WATER LINE:
The west side Main Street main water line was installed in 1976 making it 46 years old reaching its useful life for a PVC main water line. Besides being undersized for fire flow by today’s standards, the strength, wall thickness and durability of this pipe is substandard. (Class-C as opposed to current C-900)
This line is the one connected directly to our Fire Hydrant System through the center of Town. The intent is to replace this 6” line with a 10” line to accommodate future water needs at the south end of Leeds and to meet current Fire Hydrant flow requirements for industrial, commercial, municipal and larger structures along Main Street.
Since the Washington County Water Conservancy District, WCWCD, is moving ahead to replace their failed large main water line which passes through Leeds, we have been able to work cooperatively with them to replace our line at the same time thus saving cost on shared engineering, pipe pricing (volume purchasing), trenching, asphalt replacement, and safety signage and routing. This cost savings is significant.
Having the West Side of Main Street torn up once instead of twice will not only lessen cost but reduce the time of inconvenience to the citizens of Leeds.
SPRING & WATER LINE:
Our Spring capture basin and 4” steel water line was constructed in 1954 at great cost and sacrifice by some amazing pioneers in this area. We owe them a great deal of thanks and admiration for their determination, grit and forward thinking. They sacrificed time, labor and money not just for themselves but for us, the future beneficiaries.
As with all things, age takes its toll and this line has reached its projected useful life. In addition, we were able to increase The Spring flow last year by removing some of the trees surrounding The Spring. It is projected that removing more of this water intensive vegetation and some modifications below The Spring can further increase flow. While the amount of water we are allowed to use from The Spring is dependent on both our water rights and the total flow of Leeds Creek and The Spring, as agricultural land is developed it is hoped those rights will be transferred into The Spring allowing LDWA to serve those retired lands with culinary water.
By replacing the current 4”, 68-year-old water line with a new larger 8” line we assure continued and possibly increased Spring water flow both now and into the future. In addition, a larger line will give us approximately 62,000 gallons of water storage in line capacity alone. This would be a positive increase in our storage capacity.
EAST SIDE MAIN STREET WATER LINE:
The Main Street east side water line suffers from some of the same conditions as that of the west side line, however it is somewhat newer and the upper end above Vista Avenue has been replaced with 8” C-900 pipe. The plan on this side is to replace the older Class C, 6” water line below Vista Avenue with new 8’ line.
COST: As we are all aware none of these necessary current and future oriented projects comes without a price. The total cost is estimated to be $7.5 million. LDWA working with our engineers, Jones and DeMille, has been able to put together a funding proposal for this entire project which has been presented to The Utah State Division of Drinking Water (DDW) Funding Committee for their review and approval.
The DDW committee met on August 31, 2022 and approved our entire $7.5 million package. Their funding package forgiveness of $3.5 million of the total cost and financing the remaining $4 million at 0% interest over 40 years. While this is obviously a lot of money the LDWA Board feels that since:
- The DDW, which is at the forefront of water system projects throughout the State, had reviewed our needs and felt positive enough about the listed projects to support them entirely, and
- The DDW was willing to offer such a generous loan package including both significant loan forgiveness and 0% long term interest, that
- The proposed projects are both necessary and possible and that the chances of getting such a generous funding package in the future is extremely unlikely.
Therefore, we propose moving forward with all improvements.
The average cost per shareholder will be determined in concert with DDW using the Monthly Adjusted Gross Income, MAGI, for the citizens of Leeds. The MAGI impacted the total loan value, loan forgiveness and loan duration.
While this is an increase in the aggregate, as inflation increases the value of the payment decreases relative to the general cost of living. Also as shareholders are added the cost is spread over a larger base.
We are honored to represent you as your culinary water leadership and welcome your participation.
Please join us at our upcoming LDWA Regular Board Meeting on Wednesday, September 21 @ 7:00PM. The meeting will be held at The Cosmopolitan Building located at 1915 Wells Fargo Rd. During this meeting we will be conducting a Public Hearing to discuss the projects outlined in this communication.
The LDWA Board