Water Improvement Project 2023-24
The District is building a resilient water system to ensure clean, sustainable, and reliable water is available at the tap as well as provide additional fire protection for the community of Cedar Highlands. After recently improving the water sources through new spring developments and a new filtration system on the well, the District is planning to construct a new concrete tank that will add 340,000 gallons of storage. The existing metal tank (160k gal) in the meadow will be taken off-line and the new tank (500k gal) will be buried on the north east corner of the HOA property. This would be in-between the two existing zig-zag snow fences.
Here is a rendering of the proposed tank. The total tank height will be 20-feet with 11-feet buried under existing ground level and a berm around the tank sloped up to 9-feet in height. The footprint is 68-feet in diameter. We propose a continuation of the zig-zag snow fence on the east and west to create a perimeter around the tank to keep ATV’s and vehicles off the tank. We will also be installing approximately 20 additional fire hydrants throughout the system to increase fire protection.
Questions and Answers to proposed new tank location and easements.
Q1. Will the CICWCD install the 20 fire hydrants regardless of tank location?
A. The funding agency will not fund maintenance projects. Fire-hydrants as a stand-alone project is considered maintenance. As such we would not be funded for the full 20 fire hydrants project if a tank location is not decided upon. The preferred location from a geological standpoint and operational standpoint is the north end of the HOA common area property. If the tank and fire hydrant project does not happen at Cedar Highlands, the District would continue adding a few hydrants per year until coverage is complete.
Q2. If the HOA can’t get a 2/3rd vote on appropriating common area, will the CICWCD build the tank above ground and put it on the property already deeded to avoid the HOA having to be involved? That is also an option, why a buried tank?
A. At this point the District would stop engineering on design and would be going back to the drawing board. The District board would make a decision to proceed or not proceed with building a tank in Cedar Highlands. Relocating back near the existing tank location would make the tank above ground. The purpose of a buried tank is the longevity it provides. Especially in harder climates like Cedar Highlands. Burring the tank will considerably increase the lifespan of the tank. Keeping the tank in the same location aligns us in the landslide we are trying to avoid. The first location we looked at was relatively close to the existing tank site but after analysis from Geologists/Engineers Landmark Testing regarding the Geotechnical findings of the site they strongly recommended that the District investigate alternative sites.
Q3. Is there any opportunity to install a water line and hydrants along the upper meadow road for fire protection. Without a water line on top there is no advantage to the water tank location as the upper homes must pump their water from the street below up to their houses.
A. There are multiple advantages for relocating the tank site. The new location is better from geologic, operations and maintenance standpoint. The foundational geologic reasons are explained below in Q4. The Operations and Maintenance becomes significantly reduced because the tank is will be buried concrete. The soil on the tank will insulate and protect the tank from freezing and thaw. Just about 4 years ago at the lower tank there was a solid 2-feet of ice in the tank. The water level in the tank dropped leaving the ice suspended above the water level. The ice was formed around a welded steel latter. The weight of the ice tore off the latter and caused a large hole in the tank where the latter was attached to the tank wall. The District has experience with both concrete and steel tanks and the benefits of a buried concrete tank far outweigh that of a free standing concrete or steel tank.
After further review of the Right of Way Request the District is looking to install the transmission line from the pumphouse to the new tank along the Roadway. This will make it so there is no disruption to the existing aesthetics of Meadow.
However, There will be no hydrants or connections to this line as we cannot meet state code and fire requirements along the Meadow Road. The elevation drop from the new tank site to upper meadow road is 12’ which means pressure would be 5 psi along that road. The District would be liable and responsible for sustaining regular and fire flow pressures of >40psi. For these reasons the lines would remain transmission lines and would not be connectable.
Q4. What is the difference in the soil testing in the current water tank location verse the new proposed site? They seem similar.
A. The existing tank was installed previous to the District operating the water system and we have no records of the soil conditions at the tanksite. We did, however, just add spring collection sites around the existing tank. An aerial image quickly reveals that the existing tank location and area around it is saturated and on an active spring area. Also there is a difference between the two areas as reported by the Geologist and Engineering team of Landmark Engineering. The main difference is the reason to locate out of the toe of the slope and landslide. See reports below.
i. Report of tank location near the existing tank
ii. Report of tank location on the north end of the HOA and above Right Hand Road.
Q5. Water tank above us will still require a 2/3rd vote for an easement to get the plumbing and water plumbed to this upper tank. If the board chooses to move forward with this upper site.
A. That is correct. The District would need to cross the HOA property somewhere in order to connect infrastructure.
- The preferred tank location is identified on HOA property. Landmark Testing & Engineering stated “Our field investigation consisted of the drilling of 4 borings on 2 sites. Upon review of the field data, the lower site (Meadow Property owned by the HOA) was chosen, and this report was prepared.”
- A render of the tank is provided by Ensign Engineering.
- Analysis of review of fire hydrant locations and proposed new locations.
- The District entered into a contract with Sunrise Engineering to design the concrete tank.
- Two additional sites were selected and tested by Landmark Testing & Engineering.
- The District briefed the community at the Labor Day HOA meeting in the Meadow on the project and progress.
- We received a letter from Landmark Testing regarding the Geotechnical findings of the site at Cedar Highlands. They strongly recommended that the Conservancy District investigate an alternative site.
- Preliminary site location and easement work was conducted. An agreement with Linford was reached for an exchange of property. The agreement was a tank site for the old tank in the Meadow.
- The District received financing for the infrastructure projects and prioritized Cedar Highlands as a location for a new tank.
Question and Answer
During the process District staff has received questions from Cedar Highlands community members and HOA board members. As we address those questions we have posted them here.
1) How is Water managed for cedar highlands? The CICWCD operates water tanks between 80-100% capacity in all their district. Particularly in Cedar Highlands with the amount of fuel in the surrounding area they try to keep the tank full in the event of a fire. According to State Code the District must meet capacity and source requirements to satisfy fire flow and water supply. The current well on the mountain in the meadow has not had to be turned on since the drought started 3 years ago. All water supply has come from the springs.
2) Why a 500,000-gallon tank? The District Engineer has determined that a 300,000 gallon tank would be sufficient for the subdivision at build out. However, given the location for wildfire and the price being not that much more it was upsized to 500k. We will still use the lower water tank which is an additional 160,000 gallons
3) How will this tank be paid for? CICWCD has applied for and received a low interest loan and grant to fund infrastructure projects.
4) If the well is needed to supplement tank levels can it be used? In 2019, the District installed a treatment system located at the well house in the meadow to insure if that well is used there will be no odor to the water.
5) Will the water be used for Cedar City? Not likely. The sources of spring flow would not likely justify building a waterline to Cedar City.
6) Fire protection , will the tank be used as a resource for fire protection.? Yes, In addition 20 fire hydrants will be placed throughout Cedar Highlands.
7) Will this project and a fire house lower my insurance rates? Likely
8) What are the costs? Maintenance, Repair, cost of upgrade and improvements will all be paid by the CICWCD thru their budget, no capital improvement fees.
9) What has CICWCD done recently? Over the past 4 years the District has invested approximately $1-Million in our water system to maintain the quality and quantity of water needed for our community. That is approximately $6,000/lot. Because of that investment the District has more secure sources of water with a treatment system on the well and a larger spring collection area.
10) Why does the District need a new easement? The District has installed fencing to keep the cattle and people out of the spring collection areas, the easement redefines the boundaries of these areas to those fence lines as well as the new waterline to the new tank. The waterlines do not limit the use of the HOA property as they are buried underground. There is a 60′ construction easement that is applicable during construction and then it is reduced to a 15′ easement for maintenance or repairs.
11) Does each member have individual water rights? The answer is no, they were deeded away in 2011. A proper vote by 2/3 of the membership allowed this to happen. The current board has confirmation of that vote. However, The District is responsible for delivering water for perpetuity to each resident within Cedar Highlands. That is why the District continues to invest in the water supply and delivery system.
12) When will all this take place? The intention by CICWCD is to begin this construction spring 2023 if documentation and engineering are ready. It is expected to be complete between October and November.
13) What agreement was made with Linford? The agreement was an exchange of property. A tank site for the old tank in the Meadow. If the tank is located on the HOA property there will not be an exchange of property and this agreement will become null and void.
14) Why did the District enter and agreement with Linford? The initial tank location was just east of the existing tank on Linford’s Property. After geotechnical testing it was determined that the location east of the existing tank was not suitable for a buried concrete tank.
15) Why place the tank on the North end of HOA property? This location has been selected for three reasons; first it has the appropriate elevation to bury the tank; second it is in a more stable location geologically; and third the pressures will remain the same within the delivery of the water system. We conducted Geotech surveys in three areas to determine the best location for the tank. April Geotech Results; November Geotech Results.
- Water systems built in 1990 did not meet today’s standards
- Redeveloped springs
- New spring boxes
- New pressure reducing valves
- New well house
- Improved waterlines
- Drinking water meets state and federal requirements