Water jetting signals end of the line
By Robin Scott
The Water Department is near the end of the project that upgrades the city’s water system with a complete overhaul. The upgrade has caused periods of inconvenience for residents on the north side, but in the long run, the new and improved system will be better for everyone.
The $300,000 project has been a pet project of Assistant City Manager James Stroud. He applied for and received a Small Town Environment Program, STEP grant. The grant provided the money for the purchase of all of the materials necessary for a “total upgrade to our water system,” according to Stroud. Earlier this year, Dennis Rojas, Superintendent of the Water and Waste Water Divisions, stated that the upgrade included laying new 12-inch water lines to replace two 8-inch lines. He also noted, “The water is all ground water from right here in Dalhart.”
Before the new lines were laid, the manifold system at the booster station was replaced. The manifold system is what pumps the water into town and into the water towers. The old water lines had been in place since the 1950’s and before. All of the new 12-inch lines provide water to the north side of town. The 12-inch water lines provide more volume, and although water pressure always remains the same, Rojas noted, “Citizens will benefit from the change.”
The water jetting that is going on currently should be the last step to completing the upgrade. Thousands of gallons of water are forced into the ground around the lines and helps to sink the dirt over the lines. Kevin Valdez and Justin Ortiz were out last Monday near the intersection of Dallam and Pine with the Fire Department’s water truck. Valdez stated, “The tank holds 5,000 gallons of water and we are on our second tank now.” He also noted that the tank is filled in about 10 minutes from a fire hydrant and using the water takes about an hour.
The mud and muck created from the water jetting is expected to be the last disturbance to property out on the north side. Soon, residents will notice the difference in the volume of water available to them. The much-needed upgrade didn’t cost the City of Dalhart anything except costs incurred for labor to city employees. The grant covered the cost of all of the materials.