Seligman to revamp water system

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

5-year plan includes additional water tower

The city of Seligman has been working on upgrades to the city’s water system, and its five-year plan focuses on detecting leaks, adding a water tower and renovating water lines.

Brain Nichols, Seligman city clerk, said the city, on average, pumps about five million gallons a month.

“Seventy-seven thousand gallons on a two-inch water line leak is really just a drop in the bucket,” Nichols said. “You take a whole bunch of little leaks, and they add up to a big water loss.”

According to Nichols, the city has been going through tracking down leaks and repairing them.

“We look for signs of leaks like grass growing and visible water during dry spells,” Nichols said. “We do have some leak detection equipment that can pulse water lines in the ground, and we have a listening device where we can stand on top of the ground and listen for leaks, it helps to narrow down where to dig.”

Nichols said that recently there was a leak detected on Farm Road 2282 that has been repaired.

“Our maintenance department takes a pretty proactive role in hunting down water leaks,” Nichols said. “Also, we periodically go out and walk water lines, and look for signs of abnormal vegetation growth.

“They stumble upon leaks all the time, you just never know when one is going to pop up.”

According to Nichols, it is the same problem that other cities have due to aging infrastructure. Pipes and valves get old and start leaking.

“We do have plans over the next four years to work on a grant for replacing the main backbone of the water system from City Hall to Highway 37 north,” Nichols said. “Also, adding an additional water tower to the system to double the capacity, but we are every bit of four years out from that.”

Nichols said there is a five-year plan in place to get outr water rates to the point they need to be for that project.

“It is a slow and steady increase, and by year five of the plan, we will be to the point rate-wise to cover the payments,” Nichols said. “It will take 20 years to pay it off. There is a base rate of $5 that we increased starting last year in January on the water bills.”

According to Nichols, the city has been doing the work for a couple years, since the last water system study.

“During that study a group came in and evaluated rates and considered upgrades for the system,” Nichols said. “It’s a major renovation to the system of the pipes that have been in the ground since the 1950s.”

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