As stated by the Board of Commissioners following the implementation of the Water Master Plan back in 1995, long range distribution improvements require a major commitment by the Board of Commissioners and the District itself.
FILTER POND 1 REPLACEMENT PROJECT
Our Water Treatment Plant has a long and interesting history. We have three in-ground “slow sand filter” ponds that were installed in the 1980’s. These filter ponds are on a gravity fed system and use a biological process to clean the water. Slow sand filters do not require chemicals or electricity to operate. These filters are considered to be not only the cheapest and simplest, but also the most efficient method of water treatment. The life expectancy of these filter ponds is 30 years. Filter Pond 1 is now showing signs of failure and is in dire need of replacement. The estimated cost of replacing the filter pond is $700,000.
In 2004 we upgraded Filter Pond 2 to a concrete basin filter and built a one million gallon reservoir. We financed these projects through a 2.1 million dollar loan at a 3.5% interest rate. Yearly payments of approximately $138,000 are being made until the year 2025. We are currently half way through the loan payment process. The Board, Water District Management and PACE Engineers decided upon a two part plan to replace Filter Pond 1 without incurring additional debt:
Part One: Replace less pipe per year than we have in recent years and use that money for the Filter Pond 1 project.
Part Two: Apply a temporary base rate increase that will be removed when the project is finished.
This plan allows the District to complete the project without incurring any additional debt. If we used a five year loan at a 2.5% interest rate for the project it would add an additional $32,421 to the cost. Planning for this project will allow the District to avoid financing and complete a portion of the work with our own crew in order to keep the cost down and pass the savings along to our customers. We will be able to order supplies, pour cement and complete the work during the best weather conditions, which will make the job easier and the material last to its maximum life or beyond. If we do not rebuild the filter pond soon we could have a failure and be forced to finance the project at terms and during conditions that are not in our favor.
The three R’s are in use at Corbett Water District:
Upgrading our fleet by Recycling, Repairing and Refurbishing in house
While working with a $48,000 budget for a new 2015 Ford F450 utility 4x4 truck we came upon the realization that the truck and utility box would use every penny in our vehicle budget. We did some internal checking on each of our old existing work vehicles and our water operator, Hans Rathjen, who is also our main mechanic, had some great news. He found that the new Ford F450 frame was the same size as our existing 2000 Ford F550 and 1990 Ford F350. We decided to install the old utility box from the 2000 Ford F550 onto the new 2015 cab chaise. Recycling this utility box saved the District over $10,000.
We then thought about what to do with the 2000 F550 cab and chassis since the bid we received from a dealership was too low. We decided to pull our 1 yard dump truck body from the 1990 F350 Ford which had a hard time carrying a full load of rock and installed it over onto the diesel 2000 F550. The F550 bench seat frame was worn out and hurt the backs of the operators. We checked into getting the old seat frame welded and repaired, however this was not cost effective so we researched and found a set of leather XLT Lariat bucket seats with a center counsel from a much newer Ford truck. We also wired in the electric seat motors for easier seat adjustment.
Our 1990 F350 had only 32,000 original miles on it and we deemed it still had many more years as a work truck for the District, so we followed up on a Craigslist add for a flatbed frame. After purchasing it for only $200, we cut, welded, sandblasted, painted, and replaced the wood deck on the frame. This gave it a new life as a flatbed with a hoist, and a section was cut out of the side in order to carry the jumping jack for use during our projects.
We were on a roll. We had also budgeted for the replacement of the wooden deck on our 12 ton trailer, which we use for transporting our John Deere backhoe. When we pulled the old boards off, we decided to sandblast it and give the trailer a fresh coat of shiny red paint and new safety reflector tape on the sides, along with replacing three worn out tires. This made the trailer look like new. The District crew of Jeff Busto, Hans Rathjen, and I did the sanding, welding, fabricating, painting, wiring and installed the different beds on each of the new respective frames. With the money we saved on the utility box recycle project, we were able to upgrade the 1990 to a flatbed, the 2000 to a 1 yard dump truck, the 2015 to have a utility box, upgrade the 12 ton trailer with a fresh paint job and have a fleet that the entire crew takes great pride in. We set the extra funds aside for Capital Improvement projects in the future.