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Front Page » January 8, 2013 » Emery County News » Pipeline complete
Published 1,511 days ago

Pipeline complete

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The Emery Town water pipeline project has been completed. The entire canal has been piped from the Emery Water Conservancy District facility to the water treatment plant in Emery. A tour, luncheon and ribbon cutting was held to mark the end of the project in December. The tour began at the 80/20 split where 80 percent of the water travels on to Emery and 20 percent is diverted into the line for Moore.

The completion of the pipeline is a relief for the Emery residents who always have a fear their water supply will freeze up in the winter. Another big benefit of the water pipeline will be the water savings which studies indicate will be between 20-40 percent.

The project will improve and protect raw drinking water and reduce operation and maintenance costs. The project was completed to allow for future developments involving installation of sprinkling systems for agricultural land. There will be an overall improvement in the operation of the secondary system.

The project increases the quantity of water. The project will enhance public safety with the canal being piped there won't be any danger of livestock or people falling into the canal. The project will increase the property value.

The cost of the total project was $6,670,000. The money for the project came from a number of funding sources. Emery Town secured a CIB Grant for $805,000 and a CIB Loan for $270,000. CONSOL mine contributed $125,000. Muddy Creek Irrigation Company contributed $470,000 and the US Army Corps of Engineers contributed $5,000,000.

The project was successful due to the cooperative efforts of Emery Town and the Emery Town steering committee, the Army Corps of Engineers, United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Muddy Creek Irrigation Company, Castle Valley Special Service District and the private property owners whose land was crossed over to install the pipeline.

The project involved the installation of 6.1 miles of covered pipe. Pipe size included 63-inch, 54-inch and 14-inch. The major diversions included the 80/20 split for Moore and the Emery Town treatment plant. Key design items include routing the pipe over the bluff and the direct connection to the town's secondary system. There is a piped connection to the desilting structure.

The Muddy Creek Irrigation Company is excited about the improvements to the water system for Emery. It will increase available water and install a backbone for future pressurized irrigation systems. Because of this project the irrigation company will have increased funding possibilities in the future. The project comes with a possible pressure connection in the future. The project reduces operation and maintenance efforts and cost. The new system decreases liability for the company. With the new pressurized system, the pumps at the water treatment facility will no longer be used. On the Emery Water Conservancy website all of the data for the flows on the Muddy can be accessed at any time. There is a flow meter at the 80/20 split and at the water treatment plant. The water conservancy district can set the flow from their office and adjust the flow to Moore at any time.

The most crucial benefit which everyone is looking forward to is extending the irrigation season with more water available and experiencing the water savings that will come from piping the canal. Each irrigation season, it's estimated that the town loses 20-40 percent of their water out of the canal. The Muddy Creek Irrigation company records indicate an annual 30 percent loss of water. The canal will not be filled in and will still collect water in flood events.

cfs is equivalent to 2 acre-feet per day

Total Loss: 3,486 ac-ft/Irrigation Season

Key Components to the project include:

Main Transmission Pipeline

Water Distribution Points

Flow Control and Monitoring for the System

Large Percentage Cost of Future System (enable phasing)

Improves Cost Effectiveness of Future Projects and decreases operation and maintenance costs now

Main Transmission lines are largest unit cost

Allows future improvements to be phased

New Pipeline Lowers Future Improvements Total

Cost - Which Increases available funding sources

i.e. Federal Salinity Funding Program

Completive funding program based on $/ton

removal of salt

Risk of canal failure

Continual monitoring of pipeline operation

Condie Construction from Springville did the actual construction of the pipeline. Design work began for the project in 2010 and the funding process. Jones and Demille Engineering did the design work. The town would like to thank everyone involved in the project. Rep. Jim Matheson and former Sen. Bob Bennett were instrumental in helping the town of Emery obtain the needed funding for the project. The Army Corp. 595 project money was a major component of the funding for the project. Maintaining a water supply for the town of Emery is critical. The pipeline will insure the town of a continued, clean water supply free of the contamination involved with a free flowing open canal. Jones and Demille said the construction company did an excellent job. They were very protective of any riparian areas the pipeline needed to pass through. Only a small amount of agricultural land was impacted and every thing possible was done to keep these impacts minor. Of the 6.1 miles of pipeline 3.1 miles is the 63 inch pipeline.

The original Blue cut tunnel had collapsed several times. The pipeline was moved out of the canal to a higher location, but still kept low enough it wouldn't impede the flow. There are drains along the way and air intakes to keep the water flowing. High spring flows will also help flush the pipeline. The canal was kind of meandering and the new pipeline is more direct. There are irrigation turnouts so water can be delivered to the ditch. It is also hoped the pipeline will increase pressure and this will be known when the irrigation season starts in the spring. Emery Town has three small reservoirs and Julius was held back this year to save water for culinary uses.

Mayor Mistie Christiansen said she is very happy with the project, but there is more to be done to enable Emery to have water all winter long for the people and the livestock. "We water more than 2,000 cows and over 200 horses. There are real concerns. This is a big step and we couldn't have done it on our own. I want to thank everyone who helped," said the mayor.

Along with the building of the new pipeline is also the end of an era with water no longer flowing down Muddy Creek to the town of Emery. Below is a little of the history of the canal and the famous Blue Cut tunnel.

"The tunnel builders". In 1889, the pioneers had located on the Muddy Creek three miles North East of the town of Emery. The build a tunnel 1,200 feet long through blue slate rock to bring water to the town of Emery. Their only tools were pick and shovel and blasting powder. They hauled dirt out in a two wheeled cart. They sank three shafts, one at each end and one in the middle of the blue slate hill, allowing for work in four directions. The pioneers used horse power to hoist dirt out in wooden buckets. Their living quarters were dugouts along Muddy Creek, called Camp Muddy Creek. The irrigation canal began as a tunnel engineered by pioneers in 1885 and finished in 1889. Many of the people in Emery have memories of the tunnel and the canal, Merlin Christiansen as a child he would skate on the canal into the tunnel in the winter. Merlin said the pioneers attempted to shore up the tunnel with cedar posts along the wall and roof. Cave ins were frequent and they used a scraper on a long cable, pulled by a team of horses to clean out the tunnel.

By putting the tunnel through this blue slate hill the pioneers were able to get water to more fields at a higher elevation, than they would have if they had gone two miles around the hill resulting in a loss of water due to seepage and evaporation.

Nielson Construction Company replaced the tunnel with a deep ditch after a tunnel collapse in the 1940s.

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January 8, 2013
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