With water flow at historic lows, Mayfield looks to redevelop springs
By James Tilson and Dyna Folkerson
MAYFIELD—The Mayfield Town Board heard an update on the effort to fund the town’s spring redevelopment at a meeting Nov. 14.
Garrick Willden, of Jones & DeMille Engineering, told the board that output from the springs in and near 12-Mile Canyon that provide the town’s culinary water are at historically low levels. “The springs are down to 2 or 3 gallons per minute—it’s never been that low,” he said.
During his presentation, Willden focused on the town’s progress on raising money to pay for spring redevelopment.
He said Jones & DeMille had applied for two grants on behalf of the town: one from the Utah Division of Drinking Water and the other for an Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant (ECWAG) through USDA Rural Development.
“It’s not 100 percent we get the money, but other communities have been successful,” Willden said. For the ECWAG application, there needed to be a signed engineering agreement between the town and Jones & DeMille, a preliminary engineering report (paid for by the funding from the Division of Drinking Water) and an environmental report sponsored jointly by all the agencies connected to the project.
Willden said the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Utah Division of Wildlife Services all have land connected to Mayfield’s springs, and all have been consulted. The Native American tribes have also been contacted, and as soon as they respond Jones & DeMille can send in the application.
The cost to do the study to estimate the cost of redeveloping Mayfield’s springs is $27,000. The Division of Drinking Water, which funds such studies on a 50/50 basis, awarded Mayfield $13,500. Another $13,500 in matching funds will have to come from the town. Willden said he hoped to fund the town’s match from the ECWAG application.
Willden told the town board he expected to submit the application by for the ECWAG to USDA Rural Development by Nov. 30. Because the ECWAG funding is for emergencies, he expected Jones & Demille, acting as the agent for the town, to hear back within one to two weeks.
The funding from ECWAG would be a 100 percent grant, which of course would be very desirable, Willden said. There are other funding sources available if the ECWAG grant does not come through, but he said none of them will have as favorable terms as the ECWAG grant.
Once the town has final confirmation of the grant award, Jones & DeMille will begin the spring redevelopment study. Mayfield has four springs, all in or in the vicinity of Twelve-Mile Canyon east of town.
Twelve-Mile Springs and Upper Twelve-Mile Springs are not being used right now. “We feel that there’s water in there,” Willden said. He said roots can be seen coming into the collection manhole and into the collection line. “I’m pretty sure we can do some good up there.”
Olsen Canyon Spring is down to a “little trickle of water,” he said. Water has been observed coming out of the hillside 130-150 feet above the spring. Willden feels the spring can be developed to take advantage of the “wandering” water.
Willden said Order Canyon Spring has two collection areas that come into one manhole. He said he can’t tell what each individual spring is doing. He hopes to dig an individual collection manhole for each spring to be able to look at them individually.
Willden told the town board that based on Jones & DeMille’s experience redeveloping springs for other cities, he thought the eventual cost would be $700,000 to $720,000. He also noted that the fact the springs are not very high on the mountain meant work could be started soon, maybe even during the winter months.
But he warned the council the ECWAG application would have to be submitted as soon as possible before others apply for the same money.
“The only thing that worries me is with what happened in Florida and the fires in California,” he said. “It’s important we get this in as soon as possible.”