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Parkites tour new 3Kings water plant

Park City Mayor Nann Worel, Public Utilities Director Clint McAffee and members of the city council (along with the help of little ones) cut the ribbon on the 3Kings Water Treatment Plant Monday.
Parker Malatesta
Park City Mayor Nann Worel, Public Utilities Director Clint McAffee, Summit County Council Chair Malena Stevens and members of the Park City Council (along with the help of little ones) cut the ribbon on the 3Kings Water Treatment Plant Monday.

Park City leaders cut the ribbon on the largest infrastructure project in city history Monday.

About 200 Parkites got a first look inside the new 3Kings Water Treatment Plant at an open house with the mayor and city council members Monday afternoon.

Some 10 years in the making, the plant can churn out over 7 million gallons of water per day. According to Park City Public Utilities Director Clint McAffee, that’s an amount that serves around 90% of peak day demand in the summertime.

The project, which cost over $100 million, replaces the Spiro Water Treatment Plant. Park City also has a water treatment facility in Quinn’s Junction.

3Kings treats water from the Judge tunnel above Main Street along with the Spiro tunnel off Three Kings Drive. The plant also receives and distributes water from Rockport Reservoir according to McAffee.

“About 50% of Park City’s water comes from water draining from historic mining tunnels,” McAffee said. “Which contain the very metals and some bonus metals that the miners of the past were seeking for fortune. In 2010 Park City was realizing the impacts of relying on these sources with alarming urgency. On numerous occasions, water served in our community was turning brown - the drinking water was - and for short times had metal concentrations above drinking water limits.”

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality stepped in to work with the city to reach compliance and develop the plan for the 3Kings plant. Kim Shelley, executive director of the state agency, spoke about the partnership at Monday’s event.

“There were many hours of meetings,” Shelley said. “Hundreds of hours of technical discussions, and discussions where we prioritized the needs of the community and the regulatory needs that the state of Utah has mandated, and really grateful that we were able to work together to develop an agreement that addressed the concerns that were protective of human health and the environment, but also considered the financial impact of the community. This is a precedent setting agreement that allowed the time to develop a comprehensive plan and achieve regulatory compliance.”

Park City resident John Parker, who attended Monday’s open house, said he’ll leave water quality to the experts.

“It took longer than I thought, spent more than I thought, but if it does the job that it’s supposed to, I guess it was well worth it,” Parker said. “It’s really a beautiful facility.”

3Kings began pumping drinking water to Park City homes in May after state regulators signed off on its operating permit.