As part of the master plan prepared for the Town of Sinclair, the Level
I consultant (States West Water Resources Corp.) also evaluated
potential improvements to the City of Rawlins' Fort Steele Pipeline to
serve both Sinclair and Rawlins. The Ft. Steele line is poor condition
and maintenance is becoming extremely costly. The report recommended
complete replacement of the line. Depending upon the option chosen and
the eventual use of the water, replacement will cost between $6,000,000
and $12,000,000. The City of Rawlins has a water right for 1.3 million
gallons per day from the North Platte River. The city believes the
water from the Fort Steele pipeline could be used to attract growth and
may (with pretreatment) provide better water quality to the water
treatment plant eliminating taste and odor problems. The City of
Rawlins is served by springs on Sage Creek that are adequate to meet
existing needs. Raw water is conveyed to a storage reservoir near town
and treated in a Diatomaceous Earth Plant. The city has experienced
taste and odor problems during summer months and has asked the Farm Loan
Board to fund additional development of the springs on Sage Creek. It
appears the algae growth in the reservoir in conjunction with the
existing treatment process has resulted in unacceptable water quality.
In 1996, the City of Rawlins requested a Level II study to evaluate
possible improvements to their Sage Creek spring collector system, the
Fort Steele pipeline, and the water treatment plant. Level II funding
was provided by the Wyoming Legislature and the WWDC contracted with
Western Water Consultants to complete a level II study. The study will
be completed in the spring of 1998. As a part of the study, financing
options will be also be assessed. The Level II study will:
- Further evaluate the options for replacing the Fort Steele
Pipeline, expanding the Sage Creek spring collection system, and
treating the two water supplies.
- Refine project cost estimates, economic analyses, and
financing/repayment options for the needed improvements.
- Evaluate the potential for alternate uses (raw water for
irrigation of parks, industrial use, marketing, etc.).
A preliminary report prepared by the consultant, recommended expansion
of the spring collection field, replacement of a wood stave transmission
line in the spring field, replacement and relocation of the Platte River
diversion, replacement and relocation of the Platte River water supply
raw water transmission main, and major water treatment plant
improvements. The preliminary Level II study concludes that these
improvements will provide Rawlins with a reliable water supply for the
next 25 years.
Expansion of the spring collector field alone is insufficient to provide
adequate water to Rawlins for the 25 year planning horizon. In order to
meet peak day demands, replacement of the pipeline that conveys water
from the North Platte River to the city is needed. The existing Platte
River pipeline is approximately 12 miles long, is badly corroded, and is
nearly unusable. The proposed new pipeline would follow a more
efficient route which will involve a change in the point of diversion.
The new alignment will facilitate possible delivery of raw water to
outlying subdivisions, potential raw water irrigation of some parks, and
delivery of water to the Town of Sinclair in emergencies.
Expansion and improvement of the spring field is contemplated at a later
date. In addition, there are proposed water treatment plant upgrades
that total $3,500,000.00. The City of Rawlins will fund these
improvements with capital facilities tax money and grants/loans from
funding agencies other than the WWDC.
The City of Rawlins has requested a 60% grant for replacement of the Ft
Steele pipeline ($6,352,000.00 total cost). The remaining 40% of the
project cost will be financed through a capital facilities sales tax
that was passed on November 4, 1997.
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
The WWDC recommends the level II project continue and that a portion of
the project (the Fort Steel pipeline replacement) be incorporated in the
Rehabilitation Program at Level III with an appropriation of
$3,811,000.00 (60% - grant only, no loan). The City of Rawlins will
provide their share (40%) with proceeds from a capital facilities tax
that was passed on November 4, 1997.