Public Hearing Regarding Improvements at the Water Treatment and Storage Facilities

A public hearing has been scheduled for March 15th and was previously noticed in the Mountain Mail. The purpose of this public hearing is to inform citizens and solicit public input, written or oral, regarding capital improvements at the water treatment and storage facilities that may be financed through the State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan program. Staff will provide a copy of this meeting agenda and the meetings minutes capturing all public input as part of the loan application documents.

The engineering firm of Providence Infrastructure Consultants was retained June 2015 to evaluate the existing disinfection system and to evaluate methods for meeting compliance with Section 11.8 of the Colorado Primary Drinking Water Regulations. Four alternatives were evaluated and reviewed by staff and the city council. The city council’s choice was to pursue installation of an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system in advance of the current chlorination system to reduce the chlorine contact time requirement and allow residual chlorine monitoring for all three water system entry points at the existing sampling point in the water treatment plant wet well. The UV treatment option maintains the existing water treatment capacity of the WTP without increasing the chance of higher chlorine byproducts. In addition, backup power is needed to ensure uninterrupted water service to customers.

The City’s contracted engineers prepared a Projects Needs Assessment (PNA) for the UV disinfection system and backup power for water system facilities. The PNA was submitted to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the City expects to qualify for a SRF loan. Copies of the PNA were made available for public review prior to the public hearing at City Hall or online at www.cityofsalida.com.

The PNA evaluated the cost of the recommended improvements. No financial impact is anticipated on residential water bills. It is estimated that the debt service for the required capital for the recommended improvements along with increases in the operations and maintenance (O&M) costs will be contained within the rate increase approved by the city council effective beginning in February 2016.

The city council directed staff during the January 20, 2016 city council work session to pursue the SRF loan as a backup plan if sufficient grant and fund reserves are not available for the UV project.