Deer Creek and Timpanogas
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Association Activities

Low runoff numbers make 2013 a dry year

While it has been widely reported that the runoff of 2013 is a healthy and normal one, this is not true for most of Utah and the Wasatch Front.  The Wasatch Front canyons did receive a normal amount of precipitation.  However, the moisture that falls in those canyons cannot be saved and is lost as soon as the runoff is over.  Much of the water used by the Salt Lake/Provo/Ogden area comes from behind the Wasatch Front in the Uinta Mountains, which provide a great portion of our water needs.  This water is captured by the Provo River Project and other similar water projects.  These projects are able to store this water in reservoirs such as Deer Creek, Jordanelle, Strawberry and others.  Because of the reservoirs, we are able to have a steady flow of water for our homes and yards throughout the year.

In 2013, the Uinta mountain snowpack for this year ranged around 70% of normal precipitation.  But the runoff is only going to amount to 50% or less, because of how much water is percolating into the ground.  It looks like the 2013 water year will go down in history as one of the driest.

Association staff is earnestly focused on maximizing water rights, collection and storage in order to provide the most water possible for its shareholders.  There has been and continues to be much coordination between the various water agencies and the Utah State Engineer’s Office to make sure the small amount of water available is utilized as effectively as possible and according to proper water rights.  Association operations and maintenance personnel are paying close attention to varying runoff rates, daily diurnal fluctuations, and the operating condition of all water collection and conveyance facilities.  Operators are on duty 24 hours a day to monitor conditions and make corrections as necessary using the SCADA System.  The Watermaster and maintenance personnel are out in the field making personal inspections and repairs to keep everything functioning properly.

The Association is grateful this year for the Provo River Aqueduct.  In prior low-water years, the Provo Reservoir Canal experienced a higher-than-normal canal loss rate due to the low velocity of the water.  The Aqueduct’s new welded-steel pipe prevents seepage and evaporation losses, regardless of the water available.  The Provo River Aqueduct is working as designed and is meeting its expectations.

Posted: Thursday, May 30th, 2013 at 8:38 am

Winter Activities 2012 – 2013

The Association’s activities are currently focused in two primary areas: water operations and the Provo Reservoir Canal Enclosure Project (PRCEP).  The 2012 water year was below normal in precipitation and runoff.  In wet years, the entire water system functions more easily, but in dry years extra energy is required to make sure water gets where it needs to go.  Care is taken to make sure each water facility is functioning as efficiently as possible to prevent water losses.  At the end of each irrigation season and water year, Provo River Project facilities are taken out of service, drained and inspected.  These facilities are then prepared for the coming spring runoff, and an accounting is made of the various water uses during the year.

Association staff has been working to decommission the enclosed Provo Reservoir Canal (this facility is now referred to as the Provo River Aqueduct or PRA).  This work involved draining the pipeline, opening various access points and pumping remaining water out of the eight inverted siphons.  The pipeline and its various features are inspected and made ready for the next year’s irrigation season.

The PRCEP is nearly complete.  Some work remains to upgrade the Murdock Diversion in the mouth of Provo Canyon.  The diversion will feature a large trash and tree removal system referred to as a hydrorake.  It will also have four travelling screens to remove small material from the water that is entering the PRA.  The upgrade should be complete by January 2013.

The Association is also involved in a project to make improvements at the Weber-Provo Diversion located in Oakley near Kamas, Utah.

Posted: Monday, December 24th, 2012 at 10:07 am

Summer 2012

Association operations personnel are learning the of the newly enclosed Provo Reservoir Canal.  This system requires a lot of coordination between releases from Deer Creek Reservoir to the Murdock Diversion on the Provo River and deliveries from turnouts along the pipeline and the final stop at the Point of the Mountain in Salt Lake County.  This low water year reminds us of the drought a few years ago.  Maintenance personnel support the operations staff by keeping facilities and equipment in the best possible working condition and by responding to alarms that may come in from remote areas.

Completion of the Provo Reservoir Canal Enclosure Project (PRCEP) remains a large effort for the Association and its consultants and contractors.  The maintenance staff continues to provide support to the PRCEP by completing small projects outside of the main contractor’s scope of work.

 Other efforts include coordination with Association shareholders and many cities with which the Association interacts.  There is also ongoing coordination with Utah County and the construction of the Murdock Canal Trail.

 

Posted: Thursday, June 28th, 2012 at 9:01 am

Spring Activities

The Provo Reservoir Canal Enclosure Project is nearing completion.  This is requiring a lot of effort to inspect, test and start up the pipeline.  All of this activity is occurring as the runoff of 2012 is beginning.    

During the last part of April, the enclosed Provo Reservoir Canal (PRC) will be filled for hydrotesting.  In this test, the pipe is filled with water and pressurized.  This pressure is held for a time to see if all of the many valves and the many miles of welds will hold as they should.

Around May 1st, the PRC will be placed into service.  All of the turnout structures, control valves, manway access points and air evacuation valves are in place.  Approximately 50% of the control valves have the remote control capability installed and functioning.  This capability is referred to as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition or SCADA.  The SCADA system allows operators to control the PRC remotely and will be available to all control valves later in the summer.  A combination of Association and contractor personnel will monitor the PRC throughout this summer to make sure all components are functioning properly.

 As the weather and conditions allow, maintenance crews will be moving up to provide preventative maintenance to facilities and equipment located in higher elevations.  Crews will also work in the Kamas Valley to restore fencing that was damaged during the winter.

Posted: Friday, April 20th, 2012 at 3:33 pm

An Unusual Winter at the Association

This winter is proving to be another unusual season for the Association.  As the Provo Reservoir Canal Enclosure Project is completed, a transition process unfolds for those who will operate and maintain this new system.  Work is being done to remove and salvage any useable equipment form the decommissioned canal.  This equipment will either be used on other Provo River Project facilities, be reserved as spares, or be transferred to a new owner who can put them to beneficial use.  Staff is learning the processes, procedures and technology involved with commissioning the new, enclosed canal system. 

Additionally, there is a great deal of support needed from Association staff for the Enclosure Project construction process.  Besides these unique tasks, this time of year staff prepares for the upcoming runoff and irrigation seasons.  At Deer Creek Power Plant, winter preventative maintenance is performed on all equipment.  Each penstock and power generation unit is inspected and prepared for the 2012 season. 

From other areas of the Provo River Project equipment is taken to the Pleasant Grove Shop for annual preventative maintenance.  Maintenance personnel also care for all rolling stock which includes earthwork equipment, pumps, generators, and smaller powered equipment.  A large task for this winter will be the replacement of the torque converter on the Association’s D7G bulldozer.  This will be akin to major surgery.  The combination of the facilities at Pleasant Grove and the talents of the maintenance staff allow this level of work to be done in-house.

Posted: Monday, December 19th, 2011 at 2:59 pm