When BIGGER is Better

Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Skagit PUD is pushing ahead with plans to replace its undersized 1 million gallon steel storage reservoir on East Division Street in Mount Vernon with a new 6 million gallon concrete reservoir. Survey work, underground utility locating and soil assessment got underway in December. 

Skagit PUD serves 32,250 residents within the city of Mount Vernon and of those customers 10,250 or 32 percent are within what is known as the PUD’s 322-foot pressure zone. Central to this pressure zone is the 1 million gallon reservoir located at the intersection of East Division Street and Digby Road. Built in the 1970s, the current storage and fire protection demands within its service area now exceed the reservoir’s capacity.

“At present, the existing tank is deficient in storage capacity by 2.5 million gallons,” Assistant Engineering Manager Mark Handzlik said.

“State regulations require that there be enough reservoir storage to serve each customer for two days in case of an emergency outage or system failure. This volume is in addition to the storage required for fire protection and daily fluctuation.”

Every six years the PUD is required to update its Water System Plan. Among other things, the plan identifies critical, large and small scale projects of high importance.

“This project has been carried over since 2007 and it addresses a reservoir storage deficiency in the zone serving the bulk of the Mount Vernon and south Mount Vernon service areas,” Handzlik said.

Funding for the project comes from the Washington State Public Works Trust Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

Total project cost estimates are $10 million.

In early 2014, as the project transitions from the planning phase to the design phase, the PUD will host a public information meeting and solicit input from residents and other interested parties. Once work gets underway, neighborhood meetings are planned to discuss construction timelines and answer questions concerning the project.

The project is slated for completion in the fall of 2015.

Project piping and reservoir components will be completed in two or three phases to minimize construction impacts to residents and traffic. During the summer/fall of 2014, the PUD intends to install pipelines on East Division from 30th Street to Digby Road, and along Digby Road from East Division to North Woodland Drive. In the fall of 2014, after the pipelines in Digby Road and East Division Street are complete, the construction of the new reservoir and pipelines along 30th Street from the Kulshan Trail to East Division will commence.

Analysis demonstrates that these routes offer the most efficient and cost-effective piping networks to support the new 6 million gallon reservoir.