The value of water on tap
The value of water on tap.
This rural water system – one of 33 formally organized systems across the state – began with a single well on what was the Streeter Ranch in 2004, and now serves an area from roughly 7-11 Road, west across Argyle Rd., to the developments in southern Custer County west of Hwy.
From there, the water is pumped up the hills to the reservoir facility located along Hwy 385 near southern entrance to Wind Cave National Park.
Here, in 2010, a $283,000, 140,000 gallon reservoir was built to hold and help distribute the water.
Where gravity feed cannot bring enough pressure to serve individual taps, pumping stations – called boosters – add additional pressure to move the water through the 120 total miles of pipeline in the system.
Peterson talked about how, in the past, when he worked for another water system, he had to climb a water tower tank, look into it and gauge the amount of water in the system.
With the SCADA system, he can monitor the entire system from a computer, and communicate with individual elements of the system – say upping the pressure in a pumping station – to keep the system operating smoothly.
Wick and Peterson talked about how, creating the 30-inch wide, 6 foot deep trenches required for the 120 miles of water pipeline, especially going west of the Streeter well, progress was very slow.
The water tower tank, built in 2013, along with the booster stations also resulted in a larger SBHWS investment – $573,000 for the tank, and $8,000 each for the boosters.
However, cutting through the rocks required a jump in fees to $2,500 as time continued.