Talon News - Good Local News

By Jacque Ritchie

Reservoir #1 Repairs


Heavy equipment going to work on Reservoir 1 in Aztec-PHOTO-J.Ritchie-TALON

Things are heating up in Aztec, as temperatures increase so do concerns about water availabilty after a dry winter season. Aztec's original Reservoir #1 was constructed in the 1950's and is currently high and dry and in need of repair. As reported by TALON in February the reservoir is designed to hold 8-10 acre feet of water when full. Located on the north side of Hwy. 173 just off Hwy. 550 (on the road to Navajo Dam), reportedly the last time the reservoir was dredged was in 1998.

"The project is rolling out today," said Aztec Director of Finance Kathy Lamb in a May 24 interview with TALON. According Lamb, CBKN Dirtworks out of Bernalillo, NM was awarded the contract for the first phase of the repair project. The company is tasked with removing the sediment build-up from the reservior, repairing the intake tower and the removal of vegetation from around the berm. CBKN has 60 days to complete the job at a pricetag of $224,000. Lamb said the funds for this phase of the clean-up and repairs were appropriated from the city's Joint Utility Fund with no state or federal assistance. CBKN will work through Friday May 25, then take off Monday for Memorial Day. The company will then work Monday thru Thursday until completion. Lamb says to expect some traffic disruptions, there will be flagmen to help direct traffic.

Prior to beginning clean-up the city enlisted Geomat Inc. of Farmington for support and testing. Core samples were taken from site and came back clean with no evidence of bio-hazards or contamination. Geomat was paid $2,200 from the Joint Utility Fund for their service and will provide "some minimal support" during the clean-up process.

The sediment will be dumped across Hwy. 173 next to Resevoir #2. According to Lamb the spot will work well because it was the sight of a partially excavated reservoir that was abandoned in favor of what eventually became Tiger Pond.

"There are a lot more repairs to be done, to Reservoir 1, so this is just the start," explained Lamb. Reportedly, there are leaks in the reservoir and the entire surface needs to be have an HDPE liner installed.

According to the City of Aztec Infrastructure Capitol Improvement Plan (ICIP) for 2015-2019 work related to Reservoir # 1 does not make the top-five ranking of an inventory of 30 proposed projects. The East Aztec Arterial ranks number one on the ICIP. The project was bumped up on the priority list because of public outcry according to Mayor Victor Snover. "I'll give credit to the readers of the TALON for that," said Snover in a telephone interview. "The city is just trying to be proactive given the drought conditions we are facing...the city is doing what it can position itself and avoid possible water shortages." Snover stated, "The bottom-line is we are just trying to maximize water storage capacity."

In the summertime Aztec drinks between 1.7-2.2 million gallons of water everyday. Wintertime consumption hovers around 500,000 gallons daily. Reportedly, the summer increase is due mainly to folks watering their yards and vegetable gardens.


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