Ogden Canyon residents still having water pressure woes

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 12:53 PM

OGDEN — While Ogden Canyon residents continue to implore Ogden to fix their water pressure problems, the city says a solution is on the way.

And the canyon residents say that’s great news, except for only one problem — the fix could take up to two years.

A group of canyon residents addressed the Ogden City Council on Tuesday night, with the hope of spurring some kind of action in regard to fixing water pressure problems they say have plagued them for years but have become worse since the city began work on its $8 million water line replacement project through the canyon.

Work to replace a century-old water pipeline that runs through the canyon began in late 2012. The project has included nightly closures, water shutdowns and traffic congestion on the narrow canyon road.

But since the new 24-inch pipeline has been installed, many residents in the canyon say they have seen their water pressure fall to levels that are unfit for normal human use.

“We are drawing in river water just to flush our toilets,” said canyon resident Debbie Kearl, who was among those who addressed the council. “You really can’t expect someone to live like that, can you?”

Kearl’s home is at the eastern edge of the canyon. Because of sheer geography and simple physics, her pressure problems are worse than just about any other resident in the canyon.

“We’re at the very top of the canyon,” she said. “So the water doesn’t have a chance to build pressure like it does for people living further west.”

Canyon residents Rebecca Laperriere and Lori Schlichting also gave passionate pleas to the council.

“Would you live like this?” Laperriere asked the council, after giving members a distressing overview of her past few months without sufficient water pressure.

City officials say the pressure issues in the canyon will be addressed and fixed when the city builds its new water treatment facility at the top of the canyon.

The council is mulling several bond options to pay for that project, and could end up bonding for more than $13 million.

The council is set to make a final vote on the bond at its Aug. 20 meeting. Once the bond is finalized and the project is given the go-ahead, it will likely take 18 to 24 months to complete.

City Water Utility Manager Kenton Moffett said with the treatment plant project, canyon water pressure will be restored to about 40 pounds per square inch.

As of now, according to residents in the canyon, the pressure remains below 10 psi. In some extreme cases, like at the Kearl residence, water pressure meters read 0 psi.

“We’ve been able to get some information from the city and they do have a plan for us,” Kearl said Wednesday following the council meeting. “But that plan is going to take two years. We can’t wait two years.”

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