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Short Creek officials respond to recent water restrictions – St George News

Hildale — Short Creek officials recently responded to public complaints about water restrictions put in place as a result of a “perfect storm.”

Jerry Postema, the new director of the City of Hildale and City of Colorado utility companies, has answered why the recent water limit changes have happened.Hildale, Utah July 28, 2023 | Photo Credit: City of Hildale, St. George News

City of Hildale Manager Eric Dacy and Jerry Postema, the new Public Utilities Director of the City of Hildale-Colorado, told The St. He said the restrictions were the result of several factors that changed the authorities’ policy. Change the water restriction level 4 times within the last month.

“Everything happened at about the same time. A perfect storm,” Postema said.

As previously reported, Hildale City Council reviewed the water situation at a government meeting on July 12 and heard a report from Public Works Supervisor Nathan Fisher.

“We want everything out there, and we want people to know that there is nothing hidden or secret on the agenda as rumored or expressed online,” said Dacey. Told.

weather and wells

The primary factor in enforcing water restrictions The weather has been hot, dry and unrecoverable for the last few months. Due to droughts in recent years, wet winters alone won’t replenish the aquifers, said Dashey, adding that replenishment will take years.

The second factor was the collapse of Well 21. The well had to be re-drilled and the pump and motor replaced. This downtime occurred from he mid-June until he mid-July.

A third factor was the delay in drilling No. 17 well, which was supposed to be completed by early June. However, it was postponed to mid-July due to approval from the State of Arizona for the city of Colorado and difficulties in excavating the clay.

The well company reported a depth of 190 feet as of July 27. You should dig 600-700 feet deep. They expect the well to be dug by the end of August, if not sooner.

Two of four water tanks in the communities of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona, July 27, 2023 | Photo by St. George News, Nick Yamashita

water tank leak

Both Dassie and Postema said they discovered a leak in a water tank that holds 800,000 gallons more than a year and a half ago.

“The plan was to drain the tank and identify what needed to be done for repair or if the tank could be salvaged. After analysis, we fixed the leak,” Postema said. rice field.

The tank then had to be resealed with a special epoxy paint and sealer. Curing took him 5-7 days, after which he had to be inspected and then refilled.

Current employees at the time reported that all of these procedures were completed.

Postema said he inspected all the wells and tanks in April to ensure they were ready.

Postema then asked the employee if the tank was all ready, but received no answer. He said he was finally able to speak directly to an employee and found that the tank hadn’t actually been sealed yet, as reported.

Postema said it had been disinfected, sealed for sampling, and began filling. But as they were filling it up, another leak appeared on the side of the tank about three feet from the ground. It was an old pit that housed a “sounder” device – a water level gauge.

After that, the tank had to be drained, dried, then patched and resealed.

Postema said the process was not completed for several weeks and increased water usage made it difficult to fill the tanks.

It took two and a half to three weeks to fill the tank for full sanitization and testing.

“So it actually went online in late June,” Postema said. “That set us back big.”

Water treatment plants within the communities of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona, July 27, 2023 | Photo Credit: St. George News, Nick Yamashita

“Deep Well” Leakage

While the company was inspecting all wells and repairing leaky well casings in the aquifer, it discovered a leak in a so-called “deep well.” Records show that this 3,200-foot-tall well was capped about 25 to 30 years ago after it was first drilled for oil.

According to Dassie, the well is known locally as being prophesied by FLDS leaders to be offered to their followers. The well was uncovered a year ago with the sound of rushing water.

Last spring, a camera went down into the well to explore it. At about 720 feet there was a small hole in the side of the casing that allowed water to enter. This was near where the aquifer was.

“Of course, concerns arose as to what was going on. Why was this leaking? So we said we need to address this,” Postema said.

As a result of the contract and tender, the cost of repairing the holes to prevent water leakage from the aquifer was estimated at $4,100 to $4,300. Currently under repair.

Dussey said there are many rumors that the casing hole is getting bigger and a lot of water is leaking out of the aquifer. He held up his hand to indicate its size, which was about the size of a basketball.

Postema found no record of any maintenance on the well since it was drilled. The well maintenance cycle is about 5 years.

Hildale, Utah, top of 1 million gallon water tank to help serve Short Creek residents, July 27, 2023 | Photo by St. George News, Nick Yamashita

priority of water

Emphasizing the importance of the difference between reclaimed and edible water, Dashey explained that parks use reclaimed water, with the exception of Maxwell Park, which supplies water from springs. He said it uses reclaimed water, similar to golf courses. This is sewage that has undergone some treatment but is not approved for drinking.

“A lot of people think that all water is the same and can be drunk, but clearly it’s not,” Dashey says.

Postema reported that it has four tanks containing cooking water for Short Creek, with a storage capacity of 2.46 million gallons. The system pump capacity of the water treatment center is 1.4 million gallons per day.

The two main priorities for potable water are fire protection and drinking needs.

“We don’t want to endanger the public with poor quality drinking water or lack of fire protection,” Postema said.

The state requires a boiling water notice if the water pressure is below 25 pounds per square inch. The water level should not drop below 12% of full water. Otherwise, there will not be enough water for fire protection and safety. Postema said about 1,250 to 1,500 gallons per minute are required to fight the fire.

New Well No. 17 Under Drilling in Colorado City, Arizona, July 27, 2023 | Photo Credit: St. George News, Nick Yamashita

Future Plans

Two new wells have been drilled and both are expected to be operational by winter, Postema said. This cost will be paid for by a water grant from the County of Mojave and will cover replacement of the raw water lines leading to the treatment facility.

The typical cost of drilling a new well is $400,000 to $700,000 per well.

Future plans include the addition of two new water tanks, each with a capacity of one million gallons, within five to ten years.

The current estimated cost of a 1 million gallon tank is $1.75 million.

Construction meters have now been removed from fire hydrants, and these companies obtain untreated water from other sources.

Postema is happy to report that if all goes according to plan, water production will be fully restored by the end of August.

“Everything is now based on data and science. Things are no longer based on ‘inspiration’ or ‘the old way of doing things,'” said Dassey, referring to the community’s old practices.

July 28th, social media video Hildale Mayor Donia Jessop shared a city update with Postema, saying water conservation is on track and water restrictions have been eased.

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Copyright The St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2023, All rights reserved.

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