OUR VIEW: Water master plan needed

Tuesday , March 18, 2014 - 12:03 PM

Editorial Board

Ogden city officials have the responsibility of upgrading and repairing the city's aging water system. Their task, and it's one we'll be keeping a close watch on, is to make sure the necessary repairs and improvements are done over enough time so that the costs -- which will be expensive -- are not too overwhelming.

There's no doubt that Ogden's water works need a major tune up. It won't be cheap. Appropriately, it's a top priority for Junction City's administration and council. A proposed master plan, prepared by Sunrise Engineering, calls for improvements that reach more than $170 million over 40 years. Some of the improvements need to be completed within the next five years, for others, there is more time.

What can't be disputed is that Ogden's very large water system has served the city for a very long time. More than half of the pipe system was installed 50-plus years ago. That's about the time that failure in those pipes are expected. We've got a pipeline that goes through the canyon that is almost 100 years old.

We're glad that the council has signaled its commitment to appropriately balance fixing the infrastructure with keeping the water rates at a price that is reasonable to residents' wallets. Some of the projects that are expected to be first include a $9 million to $13 million project to replace Ogden's water treatment plant, $18 million of fixes to city water pressure and fire flow, as well as new water to be built at a cost of nearly $4 million. And the old pipelines will be consistently replaced over the upcoming years.

It's not cheap to keep the faucets running, but we all have the ability to keep an eye on city hall while it's being done.

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