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. The Ft.
Steele line is in poor condition, badly corroded, and is nearly unusable. 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. 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 was completed in the spring of 1998.
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
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 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. The city of Rawlins will fund these
improvements with capital facilities tax money and grants/loans from funding agencies other than the
In 1998 the city of Rawlins received a 60% grant for replacement of the Ft Steele pipeline
($6,352,000 total cost). The remaining 40% of the project cost was financed through a capital
facilities sales tax that passed on November 4, 1997.
Constructions of improvements to the water treatment were completed in 2001. An engineering
contract was awarded in April 1999 to Western Water Consultants Engineering, Laramie for design
of the intake diversion, pumping station and transmission line. Design of the new water line has been
completed and the project is now scheduled to go to bid in 2002, with a legislative funding reversion
date of July 1, 2002.
There have been substantial project time delays owing to the issuance of a BLM right-of-way use
permit, Section 7 consultation on North Platte depletion issues, conducting threatened and
endangered species field surveys and a preliminary design realignment owing to issues concerning
state highway right-of-ways. The city and design engineer have used due diligence in pursuing the
resolution of these issues and have just recently been successful in obtaining the BLM right-of-way
and resolution of issues with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Construction of the transmission
line however will not be able to proceed until next August 1, 2002 because of wildlife stipulations,
which limit construction activities to between August 1 and November 15th. The Sponsor is
therefore requesting the extension of the project reversion date until July 1, 2004.
Routing of the transmission line will provide raw to the water treatment plant as well as for irrigation
of the new city golf course which is to be located on the east side of the city.
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
WWDC recommends that the reversion date be extended two years to ensure that all project
components are properly constructed and placed into operation.