TREMONTON – To conserve water, Tremonton City has developed a secondary water system they hope will conserve 70 percent of their culinary water. In the spring of 2019 they began an aggressive approach to add piping for a secondary water system in the city.
“We don’t have the Logan or Blacksmith Fork River to fill reservoirs,” said Paul Fulgham, the Tremonton Public Works Director. “What we do have is three agricultural canals within city limits to get water from.”
The city bought water shares from the State of Utah, who owns the water, and put in three pumping stations: one with two pumps, one with three pumps and one with four pumps, depending on the size of the area they are covering. There is talk of building a fourth pumping station this year.
“After the water comes out of the canal, we installed an AMIAD filter system that takes some of the impurities out of the water,” he said. “It will take anything out bigger than a pepper seed, but the water still has E. coli in it and is not fit to drink.”
The AMIAD filter system comes from Israel. They have used them for years for agriculture.
“By getting people off the culinary water, the city can help save the high-quality water to handle some of the future growth,” Fulgham said. “There are two ways to promote conservation, one is through education and the other is through their pocketbook.”
Both the culinary and the secondary water systems have different metering systems. The culinary water meter is a base system, meaning the meter can broadcast the amount of water being used.
“In the last 10 years, Tremonton has gone from 5,000 residents to 10,000 residents,” the public works director said. “It is a lot like the rest of the state. We are growing and there is no end in sight.”
The secondary water meters don’t have the fine filtering system as the culinary water meters.
“We no longer have to read each meter manually,” he said. “The information is broadcast to a computer and is recorded at the city. Residents can get an app to see how much water they are using on their cellphone.”
The public works director said it would have cost the city over $30 million to build a water tank to hold the secondary water. This system is so far costing them around $17 million and appears to be working well.
While Tremonton City officials recognize the population is increasing, the area has also been faced with a drought situation the past several years.
The combination of the drought and growth are two facts that have brought the city’s water needs to the surface. The wells have been running dangerously low during the summer months when most of the water is used and the springs that supply their culinary water no longer supply enough water to provide irrigation for lawns and gardens.
The construction began in the spring of 2019 and three of the pumping stations were completed in 2020. Residents will be able to use the secondary water this spring to ensure green grass and gardens without taxing Tremonton’s culinary water system.