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Wyoming Water Development Commission 
Harry C. LaBonde, Jr., PE, Director 
6920 Yellowtail Rd, Cheyenne, WY 82002 
Phone: 307-777-7626 

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 84. PROJECT:Rawlins Water Supply
SPONSOR:City of Rawlins
LOCATION:Carbon County
Purpose Chapter Session Account Appropriation Due Date
Level I 10 1994 I $250,000 1996
Level II 46 1997 I $120,000 1998

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:

  1. Further evaluate the options for replacing the Fort Steele Pipeline, expanding the Sage Creek spring collection system, and treating the two water supplies.

  2. Refine project cost estimates, economic analyses, and financing/repayment options for the needed improvements.

  3. 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.

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.

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