During a recent meeting of the Mountain Water District board of commissioners, the district presented its draft capital improvement plan for water distribution and treatment, as well as the scope of services for Bell Engineering, the firm tasked with assisting the district.

“This is just a quick summary of something I threw together for the engineer’s scope of services,” said MWD General Manger Roy Sawyers. “This is just a draft and I’m open to opinions, thoughts or ideas for anything in it.”

According to Sawyers, the scope consists of five phases that will allow Bell Engineering to help the district make its capital improvements.

The first phase, Sawyers said, is to analyze, evaluate and quantify a plan to assist in in reaching the water loss benchmark of 15 percent, as required by the Public Service Commission.

“Considering water loss is our biggest issue, that’s what we need to address first,” Sawyers said.

 The second phase, according to Sawyers, will consist of analyzing, evaluating and quantifying an infrastructure replacement plan for the district.

In phase three, Bell Engineering will help the district address current regulatory compliance requirements from the PSC and Division of Water, as well as planning for any future concerns that may occur to the system.

Phase four, according to Sawyers, will consist of Bell working with the district in minimizing supplemental water purchases.

The final phase of the engineer’s scope consists of Bell identifying multiple sources of funding for the districts capital improvement plan. Sawyers said there will be an emphasis on the opportunity to receive grant funding or surcharging.

MWD Operations Manager David Taylor said the key is do the program that has the best return on investment, which is why the district felt the need to include the prioritizing of combatting water loss.

“The biggest return on investment is the water loss,” Taylor said. “We lose close to $900,000 a year, just in water loss.”

Sawyers said the only thing not included in the capital improvement scope was the district’s five-year plan, but headded that that will be added as the scope is just the first draft.

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