Seligman water line project delayed

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

City to hire engineer for water study before proceeding

Seligman city officials have postponed the water line replacement project, as they are looking to hire an engineering firm to perform a water study before continuing work.

In the meantime, the city's three full-time maintenance workers are fixing leaks in the water pipes until the project can begin.

"For the last six months, we have had an above average amount of water loss," said Brian Nichols, city clerk. "We have a history of being 10 percent or lower in water loss and we currently sit at 30 percent."

Discussions to replace the pipes began in 2010, and the multiphase replacement project started in March. Water losses totaled 920,000 gallons in Dec. 2013, and 600,000 gallons of losses were credited to broken pipes and meters damaged from the cold temperatures, according Seligman Maintenance Supervisor Wayne Persons.

Nichols says the harsh winter and saturated ground have made it difficult to detect the leaks.

"We're happy to be getting this done, but it's upsetting to have to cut out the sections of our roads to replace the metal pipes that are deteriorating," Nichols said. "One of the many good things we have in this city are nicely paved streets."

Nichols said the city also has the opportunity to upgrade the meter system to automated meters. This will reduce the amount of time city employees have to spend reading the meters, freeing up manpower to work on other projects.

"This upgrade will give advanced notice on potential leaks or other problems in the water system," he said.

The Infinity Meter Company and Master Meter will be coming to Seligman in July to give a demonstration of their automated meters and products.

The city has budgeted $150,000 this year for the project, but the amount can be updated at any time. Nichols says there is no projected end date for the repairs since they need to have a new water system study done.

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