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The City Journals

Where will Midvale get its water when the population doubles?

Sep 09, 2020 01:42PM ● By Erin Dixon

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

Midvale can anticipate double the population today (33,000 people) by 2060. 

In August, Midvale City Council reviewed the city Master Plan to look 40 years in the future. Katie Jacobsen from Hansen Allen and Luce, Inc., an engineering firm, explained what is required to support that many residents. 

“[The] master plan is intended to guide the growth of the drinking water system into the future for the next 40 years. We’re talking indoor and outdoor water,” Jacobsen said.

“If no storage was provided from Jordan Valley and the city only had access to [their current] two tanks there would be a deficiency of 9 million gallons water in 2060.”

Planning and funding, she said, need to start now. In four years, the city will need to pay for and build more pipes and storage tanks.  

“We currently have 0.6 million gallons surplus. That will be down to 0 [gallons surplus] by 2024. The idea for now is to negotiate with Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District (JVWCD) for them to provide 3.2 million gallons for the eastern side of the city and then Midvale would construct storage for the rest of the city.”

“We suggest the city immediately plan for acquiring property and begin the process for a storage tank because they take several years to complete. By 2028 the deficit would increase to 1 million gallons,” Jacobsen said. 

Midvale’s water comes from the JVWCD and two city wells. The two city wells are located in Sandy City because when tanks are on higher ground than the pipes, there is more pressure that pushes the water through. The agreement Midvale has with JVWCD expires in nine years. If the agreement is not renewed, Midvale will need an additional 5.9 million gallons of water by 2029. 

Jacobsen suggests the city begin long-term planning now. 

“We suggest building about 20 years into the future,” Jacobsen said.  

On top of constructing for the future, current pipelines and tanks need maintenance. 

“To fund pipeline replacement every 50 years it requires the city to contribute to a fund $2.3 million a year if they are aging or damaged (critical). If it’s not done then the city will be chasing breaks and people will be out of service at a moment's notice,” Jacobsen said. 

Glen Kennedy, Midvale public works director, told the council that, “The next step in this process is if this master plan gets approved we will be doing a study for both the water and sewer utilities in the coming months. That will provide us with funding options and suggest rate increases, whatever the chosen path will be.”

Councilmember Bryant Brown asked if there were any other options. “The alternative is what, we don’t expand anymore? Is this the path we have to go down?”

Kennedy said, “This is the path we’re going to go down. Regardless if the growth projections are accurate, some of these projects need to take place anyway.”

High water-use developments were not considered in this study.