The Town of Prescott Valley remains more committed than ever to providing safe and dependable water services during these uncertain times. Water utilities personnel and contractors are part of the “essential services” workers excluded from Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s “Stay home, Stay Safe, Stay Connected” Executive Order. While the front-line workers who are exposed to the Coronavirus threat receive well-deserved recognition, most people don’t see the other service workers quietly going about their jobs.
“Essential personnel are at work every day, operating and maintaining the water and wastewater systems,” said Neil Wadsworth, Utilities Director for the Town of Prescott Valley. “In conjunction with our Contract Operations Partner, JACOBS, we are practicing extreme caution with social distancing measures and sanitary procedures, to ensure these workers stay healthy.”
Along with maintaining essential water services, the Town is continuing work on water system improvements that were identified infrastructure needs prior to the pandemic, such as a new three-million gallon water storage tank and a new injection (recharge) well.
Wadsworth said the new water tank will be located at the base of Glassford Hill near the existing tank on the Glassford Hill Summit Trail. The tank will increase the Town’s potable water storage, adding to the water available for existing and new customers. The cost of the new tank will be paid for by new development.
Prescott Valley Water Resources Manager John Munderloh said the new injection well will be located at Mountain Valley Park. The well will be used to store reclaimed water in vacant space underground, which, along with the Town’s two “percolation pond” recharge facilities, slowly absorbs reclaimed water back into the aquifer.
“Reclaimed water is the product of the wastewater treatment process,” Munderloh said. “In years past, we discharged this water as a waste product, but about 25 years ago we began to see it as a valuable water supply.”
Ultimately, the reclaimed water recharged below ground adds to the regional aquifer and creates a water supply that can be recovered by pumping wells at a distant location, similar to deposits and withdrawals in a bank account. The water recharge and recovery process allows the Town to meet water demands without taking more water out of the aquifer.
“Picture pouring a bucket of water into one end of the lake and taking it out at the other end, the lake level doesn’t change,” Munderloh said.
The State of Arizona issues permits for recharge facilities and requires regular reports from the Town to ensure compliance with water quality and water supply rules.
For more information on Prescott Valley water services, contact Water Resources Manager John Munderloh at 928-759-3105.