In 2008, two of North End’s three wells tested above Environmental Protection Agency nitrate levels. All wells are safe now, but the non-profit organization has been striving to find a safer means to deliver potable water to its 205 taps north of Powell.
According to a 2009 report by Engineering Associates in Cody, Northwest Rural Water District is the best alternative to provide water to North End customers. In 2010, those customers agreed to pursue having Northwest take over the system.
Signing up for district water will happen at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at the University of Wyoming Powell Research and Extension Center on Road 9.
North End users wanting district water must bring a legal description of their property to describe where to deliver water. A copy of the warranty deed that has a legal description is preferred. There will be a $20 filing fee per tap, said Tod Stutzman, president of the North End board.
“The petition of inclusion must be executed now in order for the project to proceed,” said a North End meeting announcement “Water cannot be delivered to your property without being included in the district.”
Members also will be updated on the status of anticipated funding at the meeting, said the notice.
At a rough estimate, the average bill would be about $55 to $60 per month. Part of that would be earmarked for construction costs. However, until all the funding is approved, Northwest Rural Water District won’t know exactly what North End users will pay, said District Manager Dosie Overfield.
North End customers currently are paying $46 per month user charge and $1.65 for every 1,000 gallons of water used.
Northwest wants the 47-year-old system replaced before the district will deliver to North End customers.
Northwest Rural Water District, the Wyoming Water Development Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality all agreed in August 2010 that the entire system needs replacement now, said a grant application from Northwest Rural Water District to the Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments.
The preliminary estimate is $7.5 to $8 million for a more direct pipeline replacement, said Cody Schatz, engineer for Engineering Associates.
The Wyoming Water Development Commission and the State Loan and Investment Board will vote in January 2012 on whether to grant $280,000 and $500,000, respectively, to the district. That money would be assigned to complete the system’s design, Schatz said.
Once the design is done, the district can determine the project’s cost.
The project is moving forward. “We’re continuing to look for funding sources,” Schatz said.
The district has applied for $3 million from the Wyoming Water Development Commission and is hoping to receive $1.5 million from Wyoming State Loan and Investments Board. The district also will apply for $2.2 million from the State Revolving fund and a $500,000 Community Development Block grant, Schatz said.
In the best-case scenario, construction could begin the summer of 2013 and last six to nine months, with Northwest reaching customers possibly by the spring or summer of 2014, Schatz said.
The project area is north of Powell to Lane 3 and from Road 12 on the west to Road 5 on the east, said the application.
Installing the pipeline will bring potable water to approximately 205 houses. The project initially would affect approximately 500 people and with future expansion could impact another 250.
The plan is to provide for the existing taps, with the future potential of another 45 or more taps for folks without North End water and potential new property owners, Schatz said.
Stutzman said signing up for a tap Dec. 1 is the opportune time for new property owners if they wish to be a part of the district.
North End pipes have been in the ground for nearly 50 years, but they will last a few more. “It’s served the users well,” said North End Chief Operator Leon Walker.