The water treatment plant in Stockton, Tooele County, is pictured on Aug. 25. The plant was built in 1985 and has had problems for the past several years. The city recently secured a $640,000 grant from the Utah Division of Drinking Water as it grapples with ongoing water treatment issues following a fire in the area. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
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STOCKTON — The town of Stockton has secured a $640,000 grant from the Utah Division of Drinking Water as it grapples with ongoing water treatment issues following a fire in the area.
The grant will allow Stockton to run a power line to its emergency well, to use the well as residents’ main water source, according to Mayor Nando Meli.
The news comes after Meli proposed raising residents’ monthly water fees to pay for a $3 million loan for the construction of a new water treatment plant.
In August, the Jacob City Fire burned upstream of Stockton’s water treatment plant intake and caused it to be temporarily shut down due to the risk of contamination from sediment and debris entering the water supply.
That brought the water plant’s age and condition into full focus, Meli said at the time, and the town proposed increasing each resident’s water bill by $66 a month to pay for the loan. The announcement prompted some outcry from residents.
But about two weeks ago, the town’s drinking water staff presented a grant application to state water officials, which was later approved, Meli said Thursday. The money will allow Stockton to run a power line to the well so the town won’t need to rely on an emergency generator as it has been doing since the fire. The emergency generator belonging to Stockton was no longer working, prompting the town to lease a Tooele County generator.
Stockton’s current sand filtration treatment plant was built in 1985. When the town sees spring runoff or flash floods, a large amount of silt or mud in the water plugs up the plant, Meli said. Previous Mayor Mark Whitney in 2017 commissioned a report, which found the plant would cost nearly $3 million to rebuild. But Meli said the sand filtration treatment system would still be “inadequate” unless the plant was completely replaced.
The water system is down to about 70% loss of water, he said, adding that he is working with hydrologists to find a location for an additional well because Stockton is required to provide two water sources for its some 1,000 residents.
Contributing: Adam Small