The Park City public utilities department is moving ahead with several infrastructure projects related to water quality from the Judge and Spiro Tunnels.
Park City Public Utilities Director Clint McAffee anticipates spending $100 million on water system infrastructure upgrades and updates over the next five years. To bring Park City into compliance with state regulations, Park City has developed a mining influence water collection, treatment and distribution plan, which includes the construction of the 3Kings Water Treatment Plant, to better treat water coming from the Judge and Spiro tunnels. McAffee says the city has been planning these projects for more than five years.
McAffee says one funding item the public utilities team is bringing before the Park City Council for consideration relates to selecting equipment for the 3Kings plant.
"This treatment plant is a large building that has a lot of complicated and expensive equipment," McAffee said. "The way we procure that equipment is important to make sure we get the most cost-effective but also reliable piece of equipment."
In order to build 3Kings, McAffee says the city has to remove the existing Spiro Water Treatment Plant. The Spiro plant was built in the 1990s to provide a drinking water supply and treat contaminants from the Spiro Tunnel.
"Our regulatory need now is completely different from that, but all the water coming out of the Spiro Tunnel runs through that plant in a pipe, and so we have to connect to that pipe and bypass the entire Spiro Tunnel around the site before we can begin construction on that water treatment plant," McAffee said.
The Public Utilities Department is also pursuing contracts related to upgrading the Quinn’s Water Treatment Plant on Richardson Flat Road. As the Spiro plant comes offline and 3Kings is constructed, Quinn’s will increase its capacity to maintain an adequate water supply.
Additionally, McAffee says the city will build a water system connection pipeline from Quinn’s to a plant near the movie studio that’s owned by Weber Basin Water District.
"Starting May 1 of next year, we will actually be delivering surplus water from Park City to Weber Basin through that pipeline and selling it to Weber Basin, which they, in turn, will sell to Summit Water."
Park City Manager Diane Foster says $100 million is a lot of money to spend—and it’s a cost that Foster says McAffee and his team negotiated down nearly $30 million with the state—but the city has to comply with the state regulations on water quality.
"This is a big project," Foster said. "It’s going to be pretty visible, but it's going to be doing the right thing for our environment."
The city council will consider approving service agreements for these items at their meeting Thursday, and other requests for agreements related to the Spiro and Judge Tunnels will come later.