Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District not wasting time on facility designs
Several of the buildings that will be constructed next year to rebuild the Silver Creek Water Reclamation Facility, located north of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, will be nearly double the height of the existing ones. The tallest structure on site does not exceed 40 feet.
The Summit County Council agreed last week to allow the Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District to build three buildings that will exceed the area’s maximum height allowance. The approval allows the water reclamation district to rebuild the facility, including three new structures, one of which will rise 61 feet above grade.
The request is part of a multi-million dollar endeavor to rebuild the existing facility as an advanced wastewater treatment plant, similar to the East Canyon Creek Water Reclamation Facility. Once complete, the new Silver Creek facility will perform some of the same functions as the East Canyon Creek facility, such as removing phosphorus from wastewater.
"The real goal of this new facility is to meet new environmental regulations and to protect our local streams and reservoirs from nutrient-related issues," Mike Luers, Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District general manager, said. "In order to be able to treat the wastewater to meet these environmental standards, we need to upgrade the level of treatment that we provide."
The equipment necessary to obtain the level of treatment Luers is referring to, requires larger buildings than the ones at the current facility.
A Planning Department staff report described the location as "relatively removed from public view, with little significant development surrounding it." It went on to say that property owners on the hill "will see the structures, but the impacts will be mitigated by their higher elevation."
However, a large residential development, the Silver Creek Village Center, is slated for the land west of the Silver Creek facility.
Summit County Council Chair Kim Carson said the council approved the special exception because of the district’s need for additional capacity.
"The purpose of the approval was for the health, safety and welfare of the community," Carson said. "With the location and the way the topography is, the facility sits down lower."
Carson said she doesn’t feel the taller buildings will not visually impact the viewshed anymore than the current facility does.
Now that the water reclamation district has been granted the height exception, Luers said they can move forward with designing the structure.
For the last seven months, officials with the water reclamation district have been working on designs for the new facility, which will include multiple buildings for storing and processing wastewater.
Officials will meet with the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission sometime next month to discuss the buildings’ architecture. The design phase is expected to take an entire year. Construction is scheduled to start in the spring of 2016 and is slated to finish in the summer of 2019. The entire facility will be rebuilt around the existing structure so the facility can continue to operate.
"It’s a very complex project having to tear down a facility and build a new one, without shutting it down," Luers said. "The planning and design phase that goes into this construction is very complicated and that’s why we are using a whole year to figure out the sequence of events to protect the environment and to provide treatment at the level we want to provide.
"One small step at a time and this is one of them."
The project was originally anticipated to cost $44 million, but Luers said that estimate has increased to approximately $48 million because of additional requirements to remove nutrients from Silver Creek.
Four months ago, the water reclamation district issued $22 million in revenue bonds to finance a portion of the project. Luers said the rest will be paid for with either additional bonds or revenues, including a small rate increase.
"Once we bid this project out, then we will know what the real numbers are," he said. "But we’re right on schedule as of now."
The water reclamation district identified a need for the facility in 2006, but the project was postponed due to financial constraints.
The Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District collects and treats sewage for Park City and the Snyderville Basin. The district has two reclamation facilities, 12 pump stations and nearly 300 miles of pipelines.
- The special exception will allow for:
- Height increase from 32 feet above existing grade to 49 feet
- Height increase from 32 feet above existing grade to 36 feet
- Height increase from 32 feet above existing grade to 61 feet
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.