Project aims to increase water pressure in Spanish Valley

By Zenaida Sengo

The Times-Independent

The project to increase Spanish Valley’s culinary water pressure and fire flow capacity has commenced and excavations to the system will cause upcoming, partial-day water shutoffs in upcoming weeks.

Grand Water Sewer and Service Agency Manager Dana Van Horn said those involved in the project have been working to make sure all preliminary work that can be done prior to construction is completed before excavation in order to minimize the length of disruption. Roads are expected to remain passable with traffic diverted around the construction. Temporary water shutoffs are expected to last a few hours and those affected will receive 48-hour notice.

The new upgrades to the system have been outlined in GWSSA’s culinary water master plan since 2016, and include wider-diameter waterlines to accommodate flow increase, an increase in hydrant quantity, and the addition of a large new tank.

The area’s peak day instantaneous demand, which generally equates to midday midsummer water usage, is projected to increase by nearly 50 percent over the next 20 years. This will result in a strain on firefighting capacity.

The standard fire flow increased from 1000 gallons per minute to 1,500 GPM. Van Horn said that while the flow isn’t detrimentally low in the system’s present state, the increase in hydrant quantity and flow will better accommodate an emergency situation where maximum flow from every hydrant is needed, as in the Cinema Court Fire last summer when eight homes burned.

Van Horn said when the agency disabled a pressure-reducing valve for firefighters in June, some areas of the system were over-pressurized, and one resident’s water heater was damaged. GWSSA paid for the resident’s repair. Van Horn said that some system complications are expected when a fire is that massive. “It was minor damage, nothing compared to the devastation of the fire, and hopefully that one water heater saved at least one person’s home.”

Distance between hydrants in the fire area will decrease to approximately 500 feet with a couple of new additions along Murphy Lane. Exact locations are expected near Mill Creek Drive’s intersections with Murphy Lane and Arbor Drive, but are subject to change at the fire marshal’s discretion. The next likely service disruption is slated to occur along Murphy Lane near Mill Creek Drive and Holyoak Lane near the bowling alley. The road will remain passable but water will be shut off for a few hours.

The excavation for a new 200,000-gallon concrete water tank west of Highway 191 and Rimrock Road has also started. The water tank will sit elevated above the area to provide adequate pressure for future water and fire flow demands.

Sunrise Engineering is overseeing all system upgrades done by Trinity Construction and earlier this month they were closing a loop in the water system with an 8-inch pipe in front of the Spanish Trail Arena. The closed loop will help with flow from Highway 191 down Spanish Valley Drive, including subdivisions near the arena.

The $5.28 million project is being paid for with a $2.7 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program, grant funding, and $500,000 from the GWSSA.

Trinity Construction is hiring individuals to join their team on the project.

The company is hiring seasonal workers for the Spanish Valley project and has a variety of positions open ranging from labor to more highly skilled work. Though no previous experience is needed for some of the positions, construction experience is preferred. For more information call project Superintendent Grant Barlow at 435-251-7959.