Green River Star -

By Lillian Palmer
Staff Writer 

Reservoir work 40 percent done


Star photo by Lillian Palmer

Green River residents who live on the west side of Mansface Mountain near Telephone Canyon have noticed major construction going on near their homes. Word of the construction has spread among the neighborhood, as well as a layer of dust on their houses, lawns and cars.

The ongoing construction on the outskirts of the Green River neighborhood is due to the excavation, construction and building of The Raw Water Reservoir. The reservoir will be located at the mouth of Telephone Canyon, across from the Water Treatment Plant.

Expected completion date of the project is late July, 2016. Use of the reservoir will commence upon the date. At completion, the reservoir will hold 114-million gallons of water, 350 acre-feet. It will be 38-feet tall and 900-feet long.

Joint Powers Water Board's Director of Engineering and Planning, Bryan Seppie said the construction of the project is at 40 percent completion now, much of which is massive earthwork.

"Their work schedule is having to conform to weather conditions, and as weather conditions get colder the less work they'll be able to accomplish," Seppie said.

Mass earthwork will continue until freezing weather becomes unfeasible to work under. Construction work will then focus on the concrete structures. Seppie said that type of work is feasible to continue through the winter months because a tent with heat can be built over the work area. Other work that will take place during winter months is inside the plant where connections from the reservoir to the water treatment plant will be made.

"We want to do that when our demand is the lowest and that's the winter," Seppie said.

The reservoir project has been planned for a few years now, with the growing need for a reliable water source. Times of the year and years of drought when the river, the plant's water supply, is extremely turbid, or dirty, the plant's treatment process is slowed down. So much so in fact, during those times the plant doesn't produce as much water as is needed by the cities of Green River and Rock Springs.

"One of the reasons for the pool of water is when the river's turbid, we need to be able to have a more reliable source," Seppie said. "And so we'll utilize the reservoir as a supply to the plant and because it will be clean water."

The project though extensive, is necessary a necessary one, and the lesser of two evils. "We had a choice. We were either going to have to build this project, or build 18 million gallons worth of storage total within the two towns. That was going to cost about $53 million," Seppie said.

The cost of the reservoir project will total about $19 million. The project is partially funded through a Wyoming Water Development Commission grant of $8 million, a grant and loan from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund totaling 8 million, and a Joint Powers Water Board contribution of under $3 million.


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