Around this time last year, we were talking about the planned renovations to the Central Valley Water Reclamation Facility, and the resulting fee –$60 a year per household – that would fund our share of updating an infrastructure nearing the end of its useful life.
As you know, Granger-Hunter is in this project with our fellow CVW owners – Mount Olympus, Cottonwood, Taylorsville-Bennion and Kearns improvement districts, and Murray City and South Salt Lake. Together, we came up with a renovation plan that would give us the facility we needed to meet future demands without putting a heavy financial burden on our customers.
And in the blink of an eye, we’re examining options today that never entered the picture in the planning stages, though, as always, are important to us because they will allow us to deliver the best service to you. Here are a few of issues we dealt with in our most recent budget:
• In our aggressive asset review and repair/replacement program, we identified critical infrastructure issues that must be addressed in the very near future. With a significant portion of the facility requiring refurbishment or being totally replaced as these components shut down, our budget items related to CVWRF could potentially rise by 22 percent this year as we cover our share of operating costs and capital costs related to keeping the infrastructure in operating condition.
• The Environmental Protection Agency and the Utah Division of Environmental Quality, in new legislation, require the removal of phosphates from wastewater, and we expect nitrogen and other nutrients to follow. The new ruling would require reclamation facilities to drop phosphorus levels to 1 mg/L by 2020 and, potentially, from 0.05 to 0.5 mg/L by 2030. Refurbishing the facility and adding the required nutrient removal infrastructure could cost more than $250 million over the next 20 years.
Where will this lead down the road? Only time will tell, but with a fiscally sound budget, we feel confident in our ability as an improvement district to meet upcoming obligations. If you have questions, feel free to contact us, and we’ll continue to keep you on top of the project’s progress. Or come see for yourself; we offer tours during working hours to visitors 12 and older.