North Tooele Valley’s wastewater may end up in Stansbury Park’s wastewater lagoons.
A study of the regionalization of northern Tooele Valley’s wastewater recommends the Stansbury Park Improvement District receive wastewater from unincorporated areas.
Completed by the Midvale-based engineering firm of Hansen Allen and Luce, the study was initiated by the county after a 2016 study found that the number of septic tanks within unincorporated areas of northern Tooele Valley will soon exceed the number of tanks that can be supported by the existing natural geological and biological systems in the area.
“The 2016 study recommends limiting septic tanks to one to every five or six acres,” said Tooele County Commissioner Myron Bateman. “We did this study to find the best alternative to protect the groundwater in northern Tooele Valley.”
Looking at existing treatment facilities in Tooele County, Grantsville’s wastewater lagoons were found to be feasible; however, the distance to them is greater for most of the service area and additional pumping stations might be needed leading to greater cost, according to the study.
Tooele City was also considered in the study but the city’s wastewater treatment plant is higher in elevation than most of the service area and would require significant pumping.
Lake Point’s lagoons, likewise, would require pumping, according to the study.
But Stansbury Park’s wastewater lagoons are downstream from most of northern Tooele Valley, making them the preferred alternative for wastewater treatment, the study said.
Building new wastewater treatment lagoons were considered, but found to be less desirable than using SPID’s lagoons; the existing capacity could be used, avoiding the cost of permitting and building new lagoons, according to the study. Also, as growth occurs, fees could be collected to pay for improvements as needed.
Also adding to the attractiveness of SPID as a treatment option were conversations with SPID officials, who indicated that SPID was interested in taking the wastewater from northern Tooele Valley with one caveat: current residents would not be required to pay costs associated with the new service areas.
The study recommends that new connections to SPID pay for capital investment through one-time connection or impact fees and pay monthly fees to cover operational costs.
According to the study, SPID officials also recognized that a regional water system would help protect water sources in Erda.
The Tooele County Commission is still looking at options for a legal entity to finance and carry out the regional plan outlined in the study, according to Bateman.
Those alternatives include expanding SPID’s boundary, creating a new special service district for northern Tooele Valley that would manage the conveyance system — sewer pipes — and contract with SPID for treatment, or the creation of a special assessment area for sewer service, Bateman said.
The study identifies two initial projects that would bring three major users online and help pay for lines that new developments could tie into, according to Bateman.
Those projects include a primary collector sewer north from 1200 W. Erda Way to connect with an existing lagoon inlet. The second suggested initial project is connecting the proposed 1200 West sewer line with Deseret Peak Complex and the Utah Motorsports Campus.
These two projects would allow for Deseret Peak/UMC, Excelsior Academy, and a new LDS church on Erda Way to be connected to the new regional system, according to Bateman.
The study provides a $30.6 million preliminary cost estimate for the 50-year build out of the regional plan. Included in that estimate are the two initial projects, 1200 West and Deseret Peak/UMC, at an estimated cost of $5.7 million.
“We want to take time to do this right,” Bateman said. “We want to protect our water sources in the valley, while accommodating growth and doing what is best value for our property owners and taxpayers.”