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 in 1997. 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 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 proposed new pipeline
would follow a more efficient route that 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 WWDC.
In 1998 the city of Rawlins received a 60% grant for replacement of the Ft Steele North Platte
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 raw
water line has been completed and construction is scheduled to be completed by July 2003.
Routing of the transmission line will provide raw water 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.
There were substantial project time delays owing to the issuance of a BLM right-of-way use
permit, Section 7 consultation pursuant to the Endangered Species Act and a preliminary design
realignment owing to issues concerning state highway right-of-ways caused construction to be
delayed. Construction of the transmission line was not able to proceed until next August 2002
because of wildlife stipulations, which limited construction activities to between August 1 and
November 15th. The 2002 Legislature therefore extended the project reversion date until July 1,
In October 2002, the City of Rawlins and Town of Sinclair reached an agreement, which will
have Sinclair's potable water being provided by the Rawlins drinking water treatment plant.
Rawlins will lease "unrestricted water rights" for fifty years on one cubic foot per second, which
would then be transferred from Sinclair to Rawlins at the end of the lease period. The Town of
Sinclair will be charged $0.84 per thousand gallons of treated water to serve Town residents and
the Sinclair Oil Refinery. Sinclair Oil Refinery will continue to obtain its industrial water from
the existing Town of Sinclair intake, treatment and transmission line that will be purchased from
the Town in the amount of $1.25 million. The Town of Sinclair will use these monies to make
needed improvements to the Town's distribution system and to cover the Town's share of a
WWDC funded project to construct a storage tank and transmission line west of the Town near
the Shark's Tooth Ridge.
Construction of a new 2.5-mile 12-inch treated water transmission line is required to connect the
Rawlins water system to the new Sinclair water storage tank. Estimated design and construction
costs for this new line is $650,000 ($390,000 as a 60% grant). Good bid prices received on the
Rawlins raw water transmission line leaves over $ 1 million ($600,000 as a 60% grant) in project
costs available for construction of the treated water line to Sinclair. A change in the project
description and reversion date extension are needed to permit WWDC funding for the treated
water line to the Sinclair storage tank.
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
WWDC recommends that the reversion date be extended one year and the project description be
amended to include a treated water transmission line.