Editor's Note: This is No. 2 in a multipart series of a public meeting held Monday, Oct. 21.

At the quarterly public meeting on the Arizona Water Settlements Act planning process, hosted by the Interstate Stream Commission, several presentations were made. This covers the second and third of three.

Jennifer Hill of Bohannon Huston Inc., an Albuquerque consulting firm
 introduced her colleague, Rifka Wine, a certified flood plain planner, who later in the session helped answer questions.

"Our scope of work was to evaluate the Grant County and city of Bayard effluent reuse projects," Hill said. "After the contract was signed, Bayard withdrew its application."

Grant County proposes a reservoir at possible sites east and west of Fort Bayard Medical Center.

"We reviewed the application as well as two previous John Shoemaker & Associates reports," Hill said. "We verified the calculations and compiled a base map, identified the permitting requirements, identified the storage capacity and evaporation rates. We also made site visits."

Four reservoir sites were identified, of which three were addressed in Shoemaker's reports. Three are on Twin Sisters Creek and one, the smallest, on Cameron Creek. Shoemaker's reports included preliminary hydrogeologic evaluation and assessment of potential hydrogeologic impacts.

Source water for the reservoir would be storm water, treated effluent and existing potable supply. Site 3 on Cameron Creek is limited in capacity, but topography on all the sites is good, according to the evaluation. The underlying rock would minimize seepage.

Storm runoff is estimated at 70 acre-feet a year on Twin Sisters Creek and 110 acre-feet a year on Cameron Creek. There would be effects on downstream wells of building a reservoir.

"We discussed the effects of infiltration of treated effluent, but filling the reservoir with effluent is not applicable at this point," Hill said.

If storm water were impounded, there would be 60 acre-feet decrease in recharge of downstream wells for Bayard and Santa Clara, according to the
Shoemaker study. If the storm water were to be routed around or through the reservoir, there would be 60 acre-feet a year increase in recharge.

"This is a recreational reservoir," Hill said. "The reuse of treated effluent would require class 1A, but Bayard withdrew its effluent, so the option is no longer in play. We have used publicly available data to determine surface area, volume and costs."

Costs would range from $17.1 million for the recommended site 2, a medium-sized reservoir, to $13.9 million for a smaller site, $12.9 million on the smallest site—the one on Cameron Creek—and $26.4 million for the largest site.  Environmental compliance and permitting would cost an estimated $130,000.

The recommended site 2 would hold 3,000 acre-feet of water, with 125 acres of surface area, as compared to 68 acres for Bill Evans Lake.

The reservoir could be accessed easily by extension of a road that's already there, Calle de las Palomas. Site 2 would require a 91-foot high dam, to hold 2,996 acre-feet volume.

"Including the reservoir, a pipeline to feed source water, which we presume to be from the regional pipeline along U.S. 180, and a booster station, the costs totals $18,062,500, with estimated operations and maintenance costs of about $105,250 recurring annually," Hill said.

Dam safety on Twin Sisters would be a high-risk dam, which requires an emergency action plan, an inundation and evacuation plan. U.S. 180 would likely be impacted by dam failure.

"On the nmawsa.org website are the three appraisal-level draft preliminary engineering reports," ISC staff engineer Helen Sobien said. "We are going after all errors, with possibilities of numbers not matching on different pages. We want to hear from you and will announce a path to email us, when the email is set up."

(The email has been announced and is: NM.AWSA@state.nm.us.    To ensure emailed comments are received, the subject line for emailed comments MUST begin with the word “Comments."  Emails with a subject line not beginning with “Comments” may not be considered.
Comments may also be mailed or hand-delivered to: Helen Sobien,
New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, Bataan Memorial Building, Room 101, P.O. Box 25102, Santa Fe, NM 87504-5102
All comments, whether by email, hand-delivered, or by regular mail, must be received by 5 p.m. MST, October 31, 2013.  Comments received after the deadline for comments or not meeting criteria may not be considered. )

Sobien presented the third proposal evaluation. The City of Deming amended its wastewater reuse project. The original proposal was an expansion of the existing system using treated effluent at class 1B to be raised to 1A using infiltration.

Souder, Miller & Associates Inc. was hired by the ISC to appraise the proposal.

A March 8 amendment updated the costs, eliminated the filters and added lines to more parks.

The plant has the capacity to treat 3 million gallons a day, but is currently treating about half that much to class 1B. The aging infrastructure needs repairs and upgrades.

Booster pumps are part of the proposal. "One we're concerned about is the one at the golf course pond" Sobien said. "The pumps are too small. The booster station at the golf course is in need of repair or replacement. Right now, it can water the cemetery or the golf course, but not both."

At the golf course, Deming needs pumps to send water elsewhere. Also proposed are extra ponds and an enhanced sprinkler system at the golf course.

Recommended is implementing the boosters pumps, with a new one at the golf course, and treating the water to class 1A.  Construction would be $3,714,300, with an additional $806,000, bringing the cost up to $4.52 million.

The next article will address questions on the presentations posed by the audience.

Live from Silver City

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