Ophir: Town embarks on $1 million project for new water supply and storage

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From The Telluride Daily Planet (Ben Fornell):

The project endeavors to replace Ophir’s water treatment plant, create a new source for the water, and build a 35,000-gallon storage tank. The current water-treatment plant is old, and bleeding the town’s meager coffers, as the repairs seem to never end. And a water tank, Barnes said, is a public safety necessity. “What if we had to put out a fire?” Barnes asked. “We need that kind of capacity.”

Previously, the town had relied on an archaic system that took water from Warner Springs with a simple redwood box. “You could have dropped a kid’s floaty boat in and watch it go right into our pipe,” Barnes said. The new system features a device that will run alongside a creek in Waterfall Canyon and take a bit more water with more filtration capabilities…

The project was financed with $390,000 through a grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and an interest-free loan of $500,000 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Barnes said one of the town’s biggest goals was keeping the project affordable for its roughly 200 residents, and not creating a new mil levy to pay for it. As of now, the project will be financed through the town’s existing 2.9 mil debt service levy. However, the town has increased water fees by $20 per quarter to help pay for future water expenses.

More infrastructure coverage here.

Moab: Progress report on moving uranium tailings

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From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Gary Harmon):

Abut 630,000 tons will have been moved from Moab to the disposal cell near Crescent Junction by year’s end, said Wendee Ryan of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Energy Department and its contractor, Energy Solutions Corp., began moving the tailings pile this year. Moab residents and downstream water providers lobbied for years to have the 16-million-ton pile of mill tailings moved from its spot along the north bank of the Colorado River to a cell up against the Bookcliff Mountains at Crescent Junction that is deemed less likely to contaminate the river.

The pile is being moved by train from Moab to the disposal cell 30 miles north. It takes about 80 minutes for the train to travel to Crescent Junction with a full load of tailings, Ryan said. “It’s very slow and deliberate,” she said.

There, the contents of each 33-ton and 40-ton container placed in the cell are marked via Global Positioning System, said Fred Smith of Energy Solutions. The cell, in which native earth has been scoured out to form a half-mile-wide pit, will be filled with tailings and then recovered with the native earth. Once the tailings pile has been moved, it will fill a cell about a half-mile wide and a mile long, Smith said.

More nuclear coverage here and here.