Fairview begins major renovation
of spring water collection system
By James Tilson
FAIRVIEW—Fairview has begun the process of completely redesigning their spring water collection system to plan for their needs for the next 20 to 40 years.
As part of its work to renew its Water Master Plan, the city of Fairview will be working on a complete redesign of its spring water collection system, “from beginning to end, the entire system,” according to Justin Jackson, Fairview water superintendent.
“I want this to be a long-term project,” says Jackson. “I want to cover every single base we can. I want our system to be the most efficient and long lasting, and to take advantage of every possible new innovation that could come out in the next 20 years.”
According to Jackson, the project was propelled forward by the need to improve the water collection system after many years of neglect. Out of a possible six water springs in Fairview’s system, only two are being harnessed. Many of the collection pipes leak, and the spring collection boxes are outdated.
As a result, out of a state water permit that allows one cubic foot per second, or approximately 350 gallons per minute, the city is only collecting 60 gallons per minute.
Jackson says the project is meant to “maximize all spring lines, by all means.” The city will put in pipelines less susceptible to mudslides and automobile accidents. The pipeline size will be the maximum allowable. The collection boxes will use horizontal bores, or “horizontal wells,” to get the maximum collection.
At this time, the exact means by which the city will accomplish all these goals is still being decided. Fairview is working on its Water Master Plan, as part of the spring redesign project, and the plan is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
In the meantime, the city is answering the specific “how and where” questions around the project. For example, because of the extreme elevation of the springs, there may be the opportunity to install hydro-electric plants along the line. The city has to determine whether the return from the plants would justify the cost of their installation.
Another question deals with the location of the springs. The six springs are located on either side of the Cottonwood Creek. It is also near the road going up Fairview Canyon. The city will have to find out the cost of laying pipe on both sides of the river, and whether the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) will have to sign off on the project.
As part of the process of narrowing down options, the city has started doing a survey of the sites and an environmental assessment of the project. A mudslide in the spring, which took out a section of pipeline, made a temporary interruption in the project. However, according to Jackson, the city was able to replace about 540 feet of pipe, “a Band-Aid” as Jackson called it, and then get back to the larger project.
As part of the city’s work on the Water Master Plan, Fairview has applied for funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Community Water Assistance Program Grants (ECWAG) for up to $1 million. Jackson says the funding process usually takes at least a year. The amount of funding actually awarded will have a great impact on what the city will eventually be able to do.
Nevertheless, Jackson says the city’s efforts will be to make sure they get everything right. “I want quality over speed.” Jackson thinks the project will aim for completion somewhere between 2023 and 2024.