Riverton City has announced a project aimed at increasing the city’s culinary water supply that will limit future culinary water cost increases. The project will install a reverse osmosis purification plant on the city’s Green Well to improve the quality of water, so it meets or exceeds that of the culinary water provided to the city by Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District (JVWCD). The water produced at the well, and treated in the reverse osmosis plant, will then be used to supplement the city’s primary culinary water supply that is purchased wholesale from JVWCD.
“This innovative project will increase our culinary water supply in Riverton using a sustainable source and help us keep culinary water rates low in the years ahead for our residents,” said Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs. “With water being such a valuable resource in Utah, we are grateful to the Salt Lake County Council for their financial contribution to this project to help us increase water supply.”
The project is made possible through a strategic partnership with Salt Lake County. The Salt Lake County Council has appropriated $3 million in federal America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds toward the project. The Riverton City Council has appropriated $600-$700 thousand in ARPA funds, in addition to providing roughly $2.1 million worth of existing Green Well infrastructure. One of the federal government’s allowable uses of ARPA funds is investment in water infrastructure. The partnership also includes an agreement that the Green Well will provide water to the Salt Lake County Riverbend Golf Course at a reduced rate, saving county taxpayers nearly $100,000 per year for the next 20 years.
“We are excited to partner with Riverton City on this critical water infrastructure project,” said Salt Lake County Council Chair Laurie Stringham. “This project is one of several water conserving projects funded by the Salt Lake County Council this year. The Riverton project will add a sustainable source of water in an area of Salt Lake County seeing significant growth; freeing up thousands of additional acre feet of water for other parts of the county that desperately need additional water. Our partnership with Riverton City on this project will save county taxpayers over $2 million dollars.”
Since the city fully transitioned to purchasing water wholesale from JVWCD in 2015, the city’s culinary water wells have been unused. Prior to the transition, the Green Well produced the highest quality water of all the city’s wells, but water quality was poorer than that offered by JVWCD. By installing a reverse osmosis purification plant, the city will be able to re-engage the Green Well to increase the city’s culinary water supply.
Installation of the reverse osmosis plant on the Green Well will begin this fall. Following a public bid process, Riverton City has contracted with Total Water Management to complete the project. The Green Well building, located near Dr. O. Roi Hardy Park in Riverton, will be expanded to house the plant, and a variable flow drive pump will be installed on the well to manage water pressure. The project is anticipated to be complete by June 2023. Once complete, Riverton residents can expect little to no change in culinary water taste, hardness and overall quality compared to what they currently receive from JVWCD.
It is anticipated that 1,300 gallons of treated culinary water will be produced per minute, or over 1.8 million gallons per day. The well is projected to provide up to an estimated 30% of Riverton’s current culinary water needs during peak summer use and possibly over 45% during the winter. The increase in supply of culinary water will help keep water rates for Riverton residents low in the future as the city approaches build-out in the next 10 years. Riverton City will continue to purchase water wholesale from JVWCD, but the addition of Green Well water will reduce the amount of water by about 2000-acre feet per year that the city would otherwise need to purchase from JVWCD as the city approaches build-out, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for Riverton residents.
An external geological analysis conducted by Bowen Collins & Associates in 2021 determined the underground aquifer that feeds the Green Well has a life expectancy of greater than 20 years.
Additional information about the project can be found at rivertonutah.gov/well.